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National Right to Work Foundation Labor Day Media Roundup

Over the Labor Day weekend, National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix spread the message of worker freedom on television programs, in radio interviews, and in newspaper columns across the country.

On C-SPAN's Washington Journal, Mix made the moral and economic case for Right to Work laws and answered questions about the latest developments in labor law. Watch the video here:

In a column in the Washington Times, Mix discussed an upcoming case at the United States Supreme Court that builds on Foundation-won precedents in which the Court expressed skepticism about the constitutionality of public sector union officials' forced-dues power.

The incestuous relationship between public-sector unions and politicians busts budgets and erodes democratic accountability. But without ready access to forced-dues cash, government unions' political influence would decline dramatically. Fortunately, the Supreme Court has just agreed to hear a case that strikes at the heart of public-sector unions' forced-dues privileges. In Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a group of nonunion public school teachers is challenging a union policy that requires them to pay any union dues at all to keep their jobs.

Friedrichs gives the court an opportunity to outlaw all mandatory union dues in the public sector. To be clear, such a ruling wouldn't end government unions. Employees who genuinely support a labor organization would still be free to join up and pay dues. What it would do, however, is limit government unions' outsized political influence.

In columns in states with Right to Work laws, Mix invited workers and job creators to "celebrate the Right to Work advantage." From the Tulsa World:

According to data compiled by the National Institute for Labor Relations Research, Right to Work states have enjoyed higher private-sector job growth and larger wage increases over the past decade than their forced-unionism counterparts. No only that, but after adjusting for states’ differing costs of living, residents in Right to Work states enjoy more disposable income than their non-Right to Work neighbors.

The connection between Right to Work laws and better economic performance shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Business experts consistently rank the presence of Right to Work laws as one of the most important factors companies consider when deciding where to expand or relocate their facilities where they will create new jobs.

In Michigan, one of the country's newest Right to Work states, Mix took to the pages of the Detroit News to educate autoworkers about their newfound rights:

Are you an autoworker? A member of the UAW? Are you tired of paying dues or fed up with your union’s policies? When the UAW’s contracts with the Big Three automakers expire later this month, Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin autoworkers will finally have the chance to decide for themselves if paying dues to UAW officials is a good use of their money.

Meanwhile, in states without Right to Work laws, Mix made the case for protecting worker freedom in newspapers including the Chicago Sun-Times:

So as you celebrate the coming three-day weekend, consider the benefits of Right to Work. Consider your unemployed neighbor that might find a job. Consider the new manufacturing plant that might open its doors. Consider what you might do with an extra $2,000 of spending power in your pocket.

Will your state be the next Right to Work state?



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Video: How UAW Big 3 Autoworkers Can Exercise Right to Work, Stop all Union Dues and Fees

When the UAW’s monopoly bargaining contract with the Big 3 automakers expires on September 14, 2015, workers in Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin will be able to exercise their Right to Work for the first time. Workers who want to resign from the union and stop all dues and fees may watch the video below for a detailed explanation of the steps workers must take.

The NRTW Foundation’s statement also provides important information and the special legal notice provides a sample resignation letter that workers may use. If any worker has trouble exercising their rights he or she may contact the Foundation and request free legal assistance here.

Westerly, RI Part-time Police Officers Challenge Retaliation, Termination for Exposing Scheme to Divert $5/Hour to Union

News Release
 

Westerly, RI Part-time Police Officers Challenge Retaliation, Termination for Exposing Scheme to Divert $5/Hour to Union

Two Federal Civil Rights lawsuits filed against the town and police union after officers were threatened for questioning why 13% of paycheck was being sent to union

Westerly, Rhode Island (July 28, 2015) – Five part-time police officers in Westerly, RI have filed a Civil Rights lawsuit against the Town of Westerly, several town officials, and International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local 503 (Local 503) in U.S. District Court. The plaintiffs are receiving free legal aid from the National Right to Work Foundation.

Thomas Cimalore, Anthony Falcone, Scott Ferrigno, Darrell Koza, and Raymond Morrone, brought the suit and seek declaratory, injunctive, and monetary relief because a portion of every paycheck (at a rate of $5 an hour) is being confiscated by the town and paid directly to Local 503.

The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiffs’ First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights (and other state labor and whistle blower protection statues) are violated when they are forced, as a condition of employment, to financially support Local 503 despite never authorizing or requesting that the town withhold a portion of their paycheck and distribute those funds to Local 503. 

Michigan Hospital Employees Win Settlement After SEIU Union Bosses Blocked Workers from Exercising Right to Work

News Release
 

Michigan Hospital Employees Win Settlement After SEIU Union Bosses Blocked Workers from Exercising Right to Work

Union bosses ignored Michigan’s Right to Work law and continued to collect forced dues from seven Mercy Memorial Hospital workers

Monroe, Michigan (July 23, 2015) – Seven workers at Mercy Memorial Hospital in Monroe, MI have won a settlement from Service Employees International Union Local 79 (SEIU) in a case challenging SEIU officials’ failure to obey Michigan’s new Right to Work law and accept the workers’ revocation of a union dues checkoff scheme.

James McGregor, Anna Serra, Mary Sancrainte, Nancy Krueger, Janice Noel, Anna Hoffman, and Susan Harrison, with free legal aid from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against SEIU Local 79 in February of this year.

All seven workers had been members of the union. In late November 2014, the monopoly bargaining agreement between Local 79 and Mercy Memorial Hospital expired. In the weeks just before and after the contract expired, all seven workers resigned union membership and attempted to exercise their new workplace rights under Michigan’s Right to Work law to refrain from paying Local 79 any fees as nonmembers. 

 

Connecticut State Employees Win Settlement Protecting their Right to Refrain from Paying for Union Politics

 

 News Release

Connecticut State Employees Win Settlement Protecting their Right to Refrain from Paying for Union Politics


Class-action settlement also ensures that nonunion employees who objected to subsidizing union politics will receive dues refunds

Hartford, CT (July 17, 2015) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, eight state employees have reached a class-wide settlement with several state officials and the Connecticut State Employee Association (CSEA)/SEIU Local 2001 union that protects their right to opt out of paying dues for union politics. The agreement covers 215 state workers and ensures that employees who resigned from the union and objected to paying dues for union politics but did not have their objections honored will receive refunds pursuant to the terms of the agreement.

In Connecticut and other states without Right to Work laws, employees can be forced to pay union dues or fees to keep their jobs. However, the Foundation-won Supreme Court precedent Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson established that nonunion civil servants are due certain procedural protections of their right to refrain from paying dues or fees for activities unrelated to workplace bargaining, such as union political activism.

Teacher Union Lawyers Threaten Sanctions in Legal Challenge to Contract that Sold Out Teachers for 10 Years of Forced Union Dues

News Release


Teacher Union Lawyers Threaten Sanctions in Legal Challenge to Contract that Sold Out Teachers for 10 Years of Forced Union Dues

National Right to Work Foundation staff attorney attacked for brief calling out contract to circumvent Right to Work protections for teachers in exchange for pay cuts

Taylor, Michigan (July 15, 2015) – Staff attorneys at the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation have responded to a motion for sanctions filed for the American Federation of Teachers Local 1085 union.

The motion for sanctions was filed after the National Right to Work Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief in a case involving Local 1085 in which union bosses have been found to have unlawfully rushed into a 10 year forced-dues “union security” contract with Taylor School District after they offered major concessions, including a 10% pay cut for teachers, in a separate monopoly bargaining agreement.

In December 2012, Michigan workers gained new workplace rights when Michigan passed a Right to Work law. Fearing the loss of their forced-dues funded power, Local 1085 union officials entered into a standalone 10 year compulsory unionism agreement and a separate monopoly bargaining agreement in January 2013, hoping that the forced-dues contract would fall under the “grandfather clause” of Michigan’s Right to Work law, which did not take effect until March 2013.


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