emergency responders 

Voluntary Emergency Responders Challenge Forced Unionism Scheme

News Release

Voluntary Emergency Responders Challenge Forced Unionism Scheme

Union bosses demand firefighters join union or be fired

Harford, MD (May 22, 2013) – Three Harford County emergency responders have filed charges against a local union for violating their rights and illegally demanding that they join the union.

With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, the first responders filed the unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Beginning in November 2012, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 4847 union became the exclusive bargaining representative of the emergency responders at Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Foundation. Between November and April, the union hierarchy never informed the workers of any financial obligations they would have to meet to keep working for the County Foundation.

Then, on April 1, 2013, IAFF Local 4847 union officials demanded the workers join the union and pay full union dues. Under federal law, no worker can be forced to formally join a union. However, because Maryland is not a Right to Work state, workers can be forced to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment.

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