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.
King and his coworkers Pius Eroraha, Obi Orji, and Grace Rayemo filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) after union officials continued to force the workers into forced dues payments despite the workers' effort to revoke the union hierarchy's forced dues powers.
Coastal International also faced charges for its role in assisting the union in the collection of union dues payments despite the workers' repeated requests for the union dues and fees payments to cease.
The settlement requires the union hierarchy to return all illegally-seized union dues, plus interest, and to post informational notices in the workplace informing workers of their right to refrain from union dues or fees.
"These security guards had to file federal charges to force union officials and Coastal International Security management to back off from forcing workers into illegal union dues payments," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "This case underscores why Maryland needs to pass a Right to Work law making union membership and dues payments completely voluntary."
Twenty-four states have Right to Work protections for workers. Public polling shows that nearly 80 percent of Americans and union members support the Right to Work principle of voluntary unionism.