Foundation President Mark Mix highlights Foundation Role in Potential Strengthening of Enforcement of Workers’ Beck Rights
Washington, DC (July 18, 2019) – In a move to protect workers’ rights not to fund union boss politics and other nonchargeable activities, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Division of Advice and General Counsel have been instructing regional directors to issue complaints against unions when union officials fail to inform employees of the amount of reduced union fees they can pay by objecting to union membership under the Communication Workers of America v. Beck U.S. Supreme Court decision.
Beck, which was won by Foundation staff attorneys, mandated that workers who refrain from formal union membership only be charged fees directly germane to bargaining. It also stipulated that union agents inform new employees of their right to pay reduced dues as a nonmember, though a later Foundation-won decision at a circuit court expanded this to require union officials to disclose the actual amount one could pay as a nonmember.
The memos instruct NLRB Regional Directors to more stringently enforce those rights. A memo issued released this week to the Director of Region 32 read in part that “it is difficult for an employee to make an informed decision about whether to become a Beck objector without knowing the amount of savings that would result from the decision.”
National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix delivered the following comments on the NLRB’s actions:
“The Foundation is proud to have represented the California employee whose charge against the UFCW resulted in this Advice Memo, as well as originating this heightened disclosure standard by winning the Beck decision at the Supreme Court and the Penrod decision at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Of course, while the NLRB has an obligation to enforce workers’ Beck rights against greedy union bosses, the ultimate solution to this issue is simply to make all union payments strictly voluntary by giving every worker in America the protection of federal Right to Work law.”
Foundation staff attorneys are currently litigating several cases to secure workers’ Beck rights, including an NLRB case against UNITE-HERE scheduled to go to trial soon in Portland, Oregon.
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases nationwide per year.