Right to Work 

NRTW Praises Rauner Executive Action, Offers Free Legal Aid to Illinois State Employees

News Release

NRTW Praises Rauner Executive Action, Offers Free Legal Aid to Illinois State Employees

Foundation has long history of assisting public employees seeking to refrain from union membership and dues payments

Washington, DC (February 10, 2015) – The National Right to Work Foundation is offering free legal aid to public employees seeking to exercise their right to refrain from paying union dues or fees that may result from Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner's newly-issued executive order.

Governor Rauner issued an executive order late Monday that instructs all state agencies to put in escrow, pending the outcome of a federal court lawsuit the Governor filed the same day, all forced union-fee deductions from nonmember state employees' wages required by Illinois' public-sector labor relations statute. The Governor’s lawsuit asks that a judgment be entered declaring unconstitutional the provisions of state collective bargaining agreements that require nonmember state employees to pay union fees, a judgment that would effectively grant those workers Right to Work protections.

The National Right to Work Foundation has a long history of assisting employees seeking to exercise their Right to Work rights, most recently under newly enacted Right to Work provisions in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan. Foundation attorneys also provided free legal representation to Illinois home-based personal care providers who, under executive orders issued by former Governors Rod Blagojevich and Pat Quinn, were forced to pay union dues or fees against their will. In that case, Harris v. Quinn, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Illinois scheme, ruling that individuals who indirectly receive state subsidies based on their clientele cannot be forced to pay compulsory union fees.

Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, issued the following statement:

"Governor Rauner's actions may give Illinois public employees the Right to Work protections they so desperately need and deserve. These are bold steps to protect Illinois state employees' rights not to pay tribute to union bosses as a condition of working as public servants.

"Unfortunately, union officials won't give up their forced dues power easily. In addition to fighting Governor Rauner in court, it won't be surprising to see them make it difficult for workers to exercise their rights. State employees who try to exercise those rights may encounter stonewalling, intimidation, or harassment at the hands of union officials.

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Federal Settlement Awards Johnson Controls Worker Six Months of Illegally-Seized Union Confiscations

News Release

Federal Settlement Awards Johnson Controls Worker Six Months of Illegally-Seized Union Confiscations

Case underscores needs for Right to Work protections

Sycamore, IL (February 6, 2015) – A local Johnson Controls, Inc. worker has won a federal settlement from the United Auto Workers (UAW) union hierarchy and the company for violating his right to refrain from paying union dues and fees used for union officials' politics.

The settlement comes in the wake of federal charges Johnson Controls employee Thomas Hayden filed with legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

Hayden, who has exercised his right under federal labor law to refrain from formal union membership, must accept the exclusive representation of UAW, and its Local 1268, union officials. Because Illinois does not have Right to Work protections for workers, nonmember workers like Hayden can be forced to pay a part of union dues and fees.

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SEIU Faces Federal Prosecution for Violating Local Security Guards' Rights

News Release

SEIU Faces Federal Prosecution for Violating Local Security Guards' Rights

Case underscores need for Right to Work protections for California's workers

San Francisco, CA (February 6, 2015) – The San Francisco-based Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 24/7 is facing a federal prosecution for violating local security guards' rights.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Universal Protection Service security guard Daniel Ozabuki filed an unfair labor practice charge for himself and seven other guards against the union alleging a litany of rights abuses.

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Michels Corp. Construction Worker Wins Thousands in Settlement from Company & Union After Illegal Firing

News Release

Michels Corp. Construction Worker Wins Thousands in Settlement from Company & Union After Illegal Firing

Case underscores needs for Right to Work protections

Colorado Springs, CO (January 14, 2015) – A former Michels Corporation construction worker in Colorado has won a settlement from a Brownsville, Wisconsin-based company and a Colorado-based union for violating his rights and illegally firing him.

The settlement comes after Paul Castle of Fountain filed federal unfair labor practice charges with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

Shortly after Michels hired Castle in August, Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 578 officials demanded he become a full dues-paying union member. Because Colorado does not have Right to Work protections for workers, workers can be forced to pay union fees as a condition of employment. However, the U.S. Supreme Court held in the Foundation-won Communication Workers v. Beck case that nonmember workers cannot be compelled to pay the portion of union dues used for the union's political and member-only activities.

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Navy Helicopter Simulator Technician Files Federal Charge Against Local Union for Illegal Dues Demands

News Release

Navy Helicopter Simulator Technician Files Federal Charge Against Local Union for Illegal Dues Demands

Case underscores needs for Right to Work protections

San Diego, CA (January 6, 2015) – A local Navy helicopter simulator maintenance technician, who works for a private contractor for the U.S. Navy, has filed a federal charge against a union and its local and regional affiliates for violating his rights.

With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, Cubic Worldwide Technical Services employee Abraham Perez filed the unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

In July 2014, Perez filled out an International Association of Machinist (IAM) union dues deduction authorization – a form union officials use to automatically withhold union dues from employee paychecks – but declined to check the union membership box. In August 2014, Perez sent a letter resigning his union membership in the IAM union; its regional affiliate, District Lodge 725; and its local affiliate, Local Lodge 1125. His letter also objected to paying full dues.

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MGM Casino, Local Union Face Federal Charges for Playing Fast and Loose with Worker's Rights

News Release

MGM Casino, Local Union Face Federal Charges for Playing Fast and Loose with Worker's Rights

Case underscores importance of Right to Work protections for Michigan workers

Detroit, MI (January 6, 2015) – An area MGM Grand Detroit casino employee has filed federal charges against a local security guard union and the casino for blocking her from exercising her rights guaranteed under Michigan's Right to Work law.

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

On November 18, Cullens, an MGM Grand Detroit employee since 2001, delivered a letter to her employer and the Security, Police, and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA) Local 1111 union notifying them that she was resigning her union membership and revoking her union dues deduction authorization – a document used by union officials to collect dues from workers' paychecks. She also sent the letters by certified mail to the union on November 21.

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International Paper Company and Steelworker Union Face Federal Charges for Violating Local Mill Worker's Rights

News Release

International Paper Company and Steelworker Union Face Federal Charges for Violating Local Mill Worker's Rights

Union stonewalls worker's attempt to exercise rights to refrain from union membership and dues payments

Prattville, AL (January 6, 2015) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, an International Paper Company instrument electrician has filed federal charges against a local union and the company for violating his rights.

Clanton resident James Smith filed the unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the United Steelworkers of America (USW) Local 1458 union and International Paper Co. for ignoring his right to refrain from paying union dues. Under Alabama's popular Right to Work law, no worker can be required to join or pay fees to a union as a condition of employment.

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Union Employee Files Federal Charge Against Another Local Union for Violating Her Rights

News Release

Union Employee Files Federal Charge Against Another Local Union for Violating Her Rights

Case underscores needs for Right to Work protections

San Diego, CA (December 23, 2014) – An employee of a local union has filed a federal charge against another local union for threatening her with job termination after she tried to exercise her right to refrain from union membership and full dues payments.

With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, Karen Gomez of San Diego filed the unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Gomez, an employee of the UNITE HERE Local 30 union, mailed a letter to the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 537 notifying the union hierarchy that she was exercising her right to refrain from formal union membership.

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Indiana Supreme Court Strikes Down Third Union Boss Challenge to State Right to Work Law

News Release

Indiana Supreme Court Strikes Down Third Union Boss Challenge to State Right to Work Law

Hoosier workers contested spurious union challenge

Indianapolis, IN (December 17, 2014) – The Indiana Supreme Court today once again rejected a union boss-backed challenge to Indiana's 2012 Right to Work law. The case is a lawsuit filed by the United Steelworker (USW) union that makes a number of dubious claims in its challenge to the law, including the argument that unions have a right to force workers to pay for their unwanted services.

The Indiana Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s ruling. Early last month, the court also upheld the law as constitutional in a different case involving the same issues. And a broader challenge was rejected in September by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

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Teamster Union Faces Another Federal Charge for Violating a Disney Company Driver's Rights

News Release

Teamster Union Faces Another Federal Charge for Violating a Disney Company Driver's Rights

Teamster union officials showing pattern of workers' rights abuses

Lake Buena Vista, FL (November 17, 2014) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a Walt Disney Company driver has filed a federal charge against a local Teamsters union.

Winter Garden resident Anthony Pirrelli filed the unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Teamsters Local 385 for ignoring his right to refrain from paying union dues. Under Florida's popular Right to Work law, no worker can be required to join or pay fees to a union as a condition of employment.

In August, Pirrelli attempted to resign union membership and revoke his union dues deduction authorization – a document used by union officials to automatically collect dues from workers' paychecks. Despite Pirrelli's efforts, Teamsters Local 385 union officials have refused to stop collecting union dues from his paychecks or provide him a copy of his union dues deduction authorization.

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