Maryland 

Local Security Guards Win Federal Settlement to End Illegal Forced Union Dues Payments

News Release

Local Security Guards Win Federal Settlement to End Illegal Forced Union Dues Payments

Case underscores need for Maryland Right to Work law

White Oak, MD (September 9, 2014) – Four local Coastal International Security, Inc. security guards have won a federal settlement from a local union and their employer for illegally forcing them into paying union dues and fees.

The settlement comes in the wake of federal charges filed by the security guards with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

In December, Coastal security guard Karif King, who has been employed by Coastal International since 2008, and his coworkers voted to deauthorize the "Union Rights for Security Officers" union, thus revoking the union's power to force nonmember workers into forced dues payments. Federal law requires that union officials cease forcing nonmember workers into forced dues payments upon request if a majority of workers vote to deauthorize the union's forced dues powers.

Click here to read the full release.

Union officials threaten workers for informing coworkers about settlement

As previously reported on the Freedom@Work blog, four Maryland IKEA workers, with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, won a class-wide settlement with their employer and the International Association of Machinists (IAM) union.

The settlement allowed the four workers and all of their coworkers to retroactively resign from the union and receive refunds for any union dues spent on political activism since September 1, 2012. The settlement came after the workers filed unfair labor practice charges in January and February of this year, because union officials failed to inform them and their coworkers of their rights to refrain from union membership and payment of full union dues. Many workers were threatened with termination by union officials for refusing to join the IAM or pay full dues.

Now, one of the workers has filed a new charge against the union because the union hierarchy has been harassing and threatening the workers for passing out fliers on their own time to their coworkers informing them of their rights under the settlement. Perhaps this should come to no surprise, as union officials often purposely keep workers in the dark about their rights in order to force them to pay more union dues and fees.

For example, in the IKEA workers' case, when one worker asked about his right to refrain from financially supporting the IAM’s political activities, he was told by union officials that he had no such rights. And what little material union officials provided to IKEA employees about their rights was deliberately obscured, even to the point that union officials printed information on employees' right to refrain from full dues-paying membership on the back of a pink piece of paper in tan ink, making it virtually invisible to read.

Unfortunately, this type of abuse will continue in Maryland until it passes a Right to Work law. Making union membership and dues payments completely voluntary makes it less difficult for rank-and-file workers to hold union officials accountable.

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.

Click here to read the full release.


Terms of Web Site Use      Related Links: National Right to Work Committee | National Institute for Labor Relations Research

Copyright © 2010 National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation
 National Right to Work Legal Defense and Education Foundation, Inc.
8001 Braddock Road / Springfield, Virginia 22160
(703) 321-8510 | (800) 336-3600 / (703) 321-9613 fax - general (703) 321-9319 fax - legal department