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Welcome to the National Right To Work’s Weekly Wrap-up for the Third Week of February. It has have been a busy week with action in Wisconsin, Utah, Delaware, and Illinois.
In Wisconsin, a Greenwood teacher won a settlement from the National Education Association (NEA) for refusing to honor her rights under Scott Walker’s Act 10 and for refusing to follow constitutional disclosure requirements.
Amy Anaya was repeatedly told by NEA union officials approached her that she “had to” sign the union’s membership form. Anaya had no desire to become a member of the union.
Under Wisconsin’s Act 10 most government employees have the right to refrain from paying any union dues or fees as a condition of their employment.
Despite this and the union’s failure to provide U.S. Supreme Court-mandated constitutional protections, the school district deducted full union dues from her paychecks for the entire year.
In Utah, Progress Rail Services Corporation management and Machinists union officials have violated Utah’s popular Right to Work Law enacted in 1955.
With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, four workers — Bryan Rees, James Rogers, Richard Simone, and Jason Wilson — filed their lawsuit against Progress Rail and Machinists union.
Machinist union officials negotiated a contract with Progress Rail that gave them monopoly bargaining powers over the workplace.
Included in the contract is a forced dues clause that requires all covered employees to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. However, under Utah’s Right to Work law, workers cannot be compelled to pay union dues or fees to get or keep a job.
All four workers were denied their Right To Work and are seeking refunds of illegally confiscated dues.
In Wilmington, Delaware, trash collecting can be a dirty business when Teamsters union bosses refuse to follow federal disclosure requirements. Employee Brian Overby of Republic Services, a trash collection provider, exercised his right to refrain from joining the Teamsters union, but because Delaware is a compulsory unionism state, he was still forced to pay slightly reduced union dues.
With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Overby filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) because union officials provided Overby union financial records, to justify the small reduction in his forced dues amount, no evidence of an independent audit was provided.
Union officials also failed to provide a federally-required breakdown of the union affiliates’ expenditures. Union officials demanded that Overby pay for half of the costs of an arbitrator if he wanted to challenge the amount of forced union fees he must pay.
In Chicago, Illinois, with free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, Two Riva Restaurant servers Alicia Magallon and Raul Martinez filed the charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Unite-Here and Riva Restaurant for violating their rights, forcing them to pay thousands of dollars in back union dues, and then firing them from their jobs.
The servers charge that UNITE-HERE union officials never informed them that they must pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment or about their rights to refrain from full dues paying union membership.
Instead, Unite-Here union officials demanded that Magallon and Martinez pay full union dues dating back to 2007, a total of over ,000. Unite Here union officials coerced the two servers with the threat of job termination into signing an illegal 60-day payment plan with a waiver of their rights. The two servers managed to pay off the back union dues and an additional 7 penalty.
However, soon after making all the payments, union officials demanded the two be fired for failing to pay union dues and Riva Restaurant terminated them from their jobs.
The two servers have since been rehired but have lost their seniority at the workplace due to their firings.
Our last case for this week takes us to Long Beach, California, where a Long Beach Memorial Medical Center nurse, Pamela Ott, has filed a federal unfair labor practice charge against the California Nurses Association union for illegally demanding union dues even though she is not a member of the union.
Ott resigned formal union membership in and invoked her right to refrain from paying full union dues to the California Nurses Association union, but because California is not a Right To Work state, Ott can still be forced to pay reduced dues.
In an extra twist, beginning in October 2011 until June of 2012, CNA union officials did not have a monopoly bargaining contract with Long Beach Memorial and therefore did not have monopoly bargaining powers to demand Ott and her colleagues pay union dues as a condition of their employment.
Despite this contract window, CNA union officials demanded Ott pay union dues even during the time that the union did not have a contract.