Teamster Union Faces Federal Charge For Illegally Using Forced Dues for Politics
Union officials violate worker's rights; case shows need for state Right to Work law
Minneapolis, MN (June 11, 2012) -- With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a New Brighton Ford journeyman technician has filed a federal charge against a local Teamster union for violating his rights.
Dylan McHenry of Hammond, Wisconsin filed the charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office in Minneapolis against the Teamsters Local 974 union for illegally confiscating union dues payments from his paychecks for political activism and refusing to follow federal disclosure requirements.
Because Minnesota does not have Right to Work protections making union affiliation completely voluntary, McHenry, who resigned from formal union membership in April, is still forced to pay fees to the union to keep his job.
However, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Foundation's Communication Workers of America v. Beck case that workers are not required to pay union dues or fees for union boss political activities, lobbying, and member-only events.
Union officials must also provide workers with an independently-audited financial breakdown of all forced-dues union expenditures. This procedural safeguard helps inform workers of how their forced union dues and fees are being spent and makes it a little less difficult for workers to hold union officials accountable.
After McHenry resigned from formal union membership, Teamster union officials provided him with an incomplete breakdown of union expenditures. The union is also taking money from McHenry's paychecks for the Teamster hierarchy's political action committee -- a clear violation of federal law
"Teamster union bosses are illegally charging independent-minded workers for their political agenda and deliberately keeping workers in the dark about how their forced dues are being spent," said Mark Mix, President of National Right to Work. "To prevent these types of forced unionism abuses in the future, Minnesota needs to pass a Right to Work law making union affiliation and dues payments completely voluntary."
Twenty-three states have Right to Work protections for its workers. Recent public polling shows that 80 percent of Americans and 80 percent of union members support the Right to Work principle of voluntary unionism.