Forced Dues for Politics 

Ohio Teachers Win Class-Action Settlement to Halt Compulsory Union Dues for Political Activism

News Release

Ohio Teachers Win Class-Action Settlement to Halt Compulsory Union Dues for Political Activism

Ohio teacher union bosses forced to refund dues and fees illegally used for union electioneering to over 2,000 teachers

Columbus, OH (September 11, 2014) – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, 14 public school teachers across the state have won a federal class-action settlement against the Ohio Education Association (OEA) and 11 of its regional and local affiliates for violating their rights.

The settlement is in a class-action lawsuit the group filed in 2011 after the OEA union unlawfully overcharged the teachers -- who have refrained from full-dues-paying union membership -- for union "fees" taken from their paychecks. The union hierarchy charged the teachers for costs supporting the union's political activism and electioneering.

Click here to read the full release.

Ford Employee Slaps UAW & Company with Federal Charges for Illegal Dues Deductions

News Release

Ford Employee Slaps UAW & Company with Federal Charges for Illegal Dues Deductions

Despite a worker's repeated requests, company and union officials continue to collect full union dues from his paychecks

Dearborn, MI (August 20, 2014) – A Dearborn-area Ford Motor Company worker has filed federal charges against the United Auto Workers (UAW) union and the company for violating his rights.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Todd Lemire, a 16-year Dearborn Tool & Die plant worker, filed the charges last week with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

On April 7, 2014, Lemire sent a letter to Ford Motor and UAW union officials exercising his statutory rights to resign his union membership and refrain from full union dues. Under Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court precedent, nonmember workers can refrain from paying for union boss politics and members-only events.

Click here to read the full release.

Washington Examiner on Knox Win: "Public unions lose automatic political cash from nonmembers"

Like The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Examiner also noted the landmark implications of the Foundation's latest Supreme Court victory. Here's the crux of their editorial on the Knox case:

The 7-2 majority -- which included a concurrence by liberal Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg -- agreed that the union had acted illegally. But the sharpest cut comes from the court's narrower 5-4 majority opinion by Justice Samuel Alito. It held that for unions to deduct special political contributions from nonmembers' paychecks -- as occurred in this case -- those workers must explicitly opt in, as opposed to having to opt out. Otherwise, as in this case, the union will at best receive a free loan for political activity at nonunion employees' expense. At worst, employees burdened with the normal concerns of life may well forget to claim their full rights, and the unions' political activities will thrive by default at their expense.

"Public-sector unions have the right under the First Amendment to express their views on political and social issues without government interference," Alito wrote. "But employees who choose not to join a union have the same rights." It should come as little surprise that nonunion workers do not want to contribute to union political initiatives, especially ones that attack nonunion workers' rights.

For more on the case, check out the Foundation's press release on the decision and Knox webpage

WSJ: New Foundation-won Supreme Court Precedent Harbinger of More Pro-Worker Decisions?

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an illegal Service Employees International Union (SEIU) political fee charged to California state workers without notice and opportunity to opt out.

And now for the first time, the Court is requiring union officials to obtain affirmative consent from workers before they increase union dues and fees or slap workers with "special assessments" for union boss political spending.

Not only is this Foundation victory a victory for the First Amendment principles of free speech and free association, but Justice Samuel Alito acknowledged the tension the Court has created by allowing Big Labor to get away with so much for so long.

The very fact that a five-member majority of the U.S. Supreme Court openly questioned Big Labor's incredible power to force workers info forced-dues payments suggests Big Labor has overplayed its hand and the Court may be willing to hear more cases to reconsider some of its pro-Big Labor precedents and possibly even freeing workers from the shackles of forced unionism. Via the Wall Street Journal:

Writing for a five-member majority, however, Justice Samuel Alito raises larger questions about compulsory union dues and individual rights. Shouldn't the people who choose not to join a union, he asks, have to opt into political and ideological activities that they may presumably dispute—rather than opt out? "Which side should bear the risk?" he continues. "The answer is obvious: the side whose constitutional rights are not at stake."

Thus Knox may provide an opening to revisit some of the Court's precedents that force people to subsidize political views or escapades contrary to their values—not to mention the First Amendment. Stay tuned.

Victory: Supreme Court Strikes Down SEIU Scheme to Force CA Nonunion State Employees to Fund Union Politics

News Release

Supreme Court Strikes Down SEIU Scheme to Force CA Nonunion State Employees to Fund Union Politics

National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys close union boss political fundraising loophole, winning again at U.S. Supreme Court

Washington, DC (June 21, 2012) - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 today, siding with nonmember California state employees challenging a Service Employees International Union (SEIU) political fee charged to them without notice and opportunity to opt out.

The case concludes a prolonged legal challenge affecting some 36,000 California government employees initiated by eight California civil servants who filed a class-action lawsuit with free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

In 2005, SEIU officials imposed a "special assessment" to raise money from all state employees forced to accept union representation as a job condition for a union political fund, regardless of their membership status. The fund was used to defeat four ballot proposals, including one that would have revoked public employee unions' special privilege of using forced fees for politics unless an employee consents. Employees who refrained from union membership were given no chance to opt out of paying the SEIU's political assessment.

Mark Mix, President of National Right to Work, issued the following statement regarding today's ruling:

"Today, the United States Supreme Court upheld workers' First Amendment rights and struck down another union boss scheme to confiscate and spend state workers' hard earned money for politics without their permission."

Click here to read the full release.

Hotel Union Faces Federal Charges for Forcing Nonmember Employees to Fund Lobbying, Strikes

News Release

Hotel Union Faces Federal Charges for Forcing Nonmember Employees to Fund Lobbying, Strikes

Case emphasizes need for a Right to Work law in the Aloha State

Honolulu, HI (April 27, 2012) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, two Honolulu Hilton employees have filed federal unfair labor practice charges against the UNITE HERE Local 5 union.

Grant Suzuki and Daryl Sakugawa don’t belong to Local 5 but can still be forced to pay union dues and fees as a condition of employment because Hawaii lacks a Right to Work law. However, the Foundation-won Supreme Court precedent Communication Workers v. Beck holds that nonunion employees cannot be forced to pay for union activities unrelated to workplace bargaining, such as political lobbying or members-only activities.

In December 2011, Suzuki and Sakugawa received a breakdown of union financial expenditures from Local 5. According to the union’s books, both employees were forced to contribute to a variety of activities outside the scope of workplace negotiations, including UNITE HERE political lobbying and a union strike fund.

To read the rest, click here.


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