Union Political Activism 

Union, Company Face Federal Prosecution after Construction Worker Digs Up Illegal PAC Scheme

News Release

Union, Company Face Federal Prosecution after Construction Worker Digs Up Illegal PAC Scheme

Worker discharged from job for not contributing to "voluntary" union PAC

Beckley, WV (April 22, 2013) – A Pennsylvania construction company and a local union are facing a federal prosecution for violating the rights of a former truck driver/laborer and illegally seizing union dues from workers' paychecks for the union's political action committee (PAC).

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Jeff Richmond of Meadow Bridge, WV, filed federal unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Penn Line Service, Inc. and the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 453.

In July 2012, when Penn Line Service hired Richmond, company management informed him that the job was a "union job." Between July and October, the company confiscated, and the LIUNA hierarchy accepted, full union dues from Richmond's paychecks even though he had not joined the union nor given prior authorization for the company to take full union dues from his paychecks.

Click here to read the full release.

Labor Day Statement: “Union Officials Are Mounting A Billion Dollar Campaign to Reelect President Barack Obama”

News Release

Labor Day Statement: "Union Officials Are Mounting A Billion Dollar Campaign to Reelect President Barack Obama"

Forced-dues funded billion dollar machine enables union officials to wield immense political clout, even though voluntary union membership continues to steadily decline

Washington, DC (August 31, 2012) – Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and National Right to Work Committee, released the following statement regarding this year's Labor Day holiday.

"This Labor Day, many workers will enjoy a well-deserved long weekend. But as we celebrate with friends and family, union officials are mounting a billion dollar campaign to reelect President Barack Obama and elect more pro-forced unionism allies in Congress.

"Throughout the United States, tens of millions of American workers are already compelled to pay dues or fees to union officials as a condition of getting or keeping a job. And millions more workers are required by law to accept a union's so-called 'representation,' even if they would rather negotiate with their employer themselves on their own merits.

"Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that Big Labor spends about four times on politics and lobbying than what was previously thought. This forced-dues funded billion dollar machine enables union officials to wield immense political clout, even though voluntary union membership continues to steadily decline."

Click here to read the full statement.

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.


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