Teamster union agents also charged with destroying employee’s postings about workers’ rights before union officials moved to have him fired
St. Louis, MO (July 12, 2019) – A St. Louis-area paramedic is mounting a federal unfair labor practice charge against the Teamsters Local 610 union for multiple violations of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The violations charged include blocking his right to resign from union membership and demanding punishment by his employer because he attempted to inform coworkers of their rights. He is also hitting his employer, Medic One Ambulance, with a federal charge for threatening to fire him at union officials’ behest after he posted literature concerning the right of workers to resign from unions.
Both charges were filed at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region 14 office in St. Louis with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys.
According to Jarod Aubuchon’s charge against the Teamsters, he submitted a letter to union agents on April 8 ending his union membership and asserting his right under the Foundation-won CWA v. Beck U.S. Supreme Court case to pay reduced union fees as a nonmember. Missouri’s lack of a Right to Work law means that employees who exercise their right to refrain from formal union membership must still pay a reduced share of dues or lose their jobs.
The charge against the union reports that since Aubuchon submitted his resignation neither his resignation nor his Beck rights have been acknowledged by Teamsters bosses. Moreover, full dues are still being seized from his paychecks.
Aubuchon’s charge against the union states that at some point after his resignation he began posting literature about employee rights in “common open areas.” Union agents reacted by destroying the postings and demanding disciplinary action against Aubuchon by Medic One. His charge against Medic One notes that the employer threatened to fire him during a meeting.
The NLRA prohibits unions from causing an employer to “discriminate against an employee” based on union nonmembership. Aubuchon’s charges assert that both Teamsters Local 610 and Medic One blatantly violated his rights under the NLRA.
Missouri legislators passed a Right to Work law in 2017, but Big Labor triggered a referendum in 2018 and killed the law with a multi-million-dollar campaign before the law went into effect. That leaves union officials free to have workers fired for nonpayment of union fees. However, union officials still must follow the Beck precedent to justify the amount of any mandatory fees.
“This case demonstrates the kind of abuse that happens when workers lack the protections of a Right to Work law,” observed National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “Without Right to Work, employees who exercise their freedoms under longstanding labor laws are bullied, have illegal dues seized from them, lose their jobs, and are sometimes not even permitted to notify their fellow workers of their rights.”
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.