West Virginia’s workers desperately need Right to Work protections
Morgantown, WV (November 23, 2011) – With aid from the National Right to Work Foundation, a West Virginia University Hospital employee has filed a second federal charge against a local union for refusing to honor her resignation from formal union membership, forcing her to pay full union dues against her will, and failing to provide the legally-required disclosure of how her forced dues are being spent.
Kimberly Wright initially resigned formal union membership from the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 814 in December 2010. Wright exercised her rights under the Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court precedent in Communication Workers v. Beck, which allows workers to refrain from full-dues-paying union membership.
For months following, LIUNA Local 814 union officials continued to extract full union dues from her paycheck, forcing her to file a charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with free legal assistance from Foundation attorneys. The Board then settled the case with union lawyers.
Despite the settlement, LIUNA Local 814 union officials continue to collect full union dues from her paycheck.
Because West Virginia does not have a Right to Work law on the books, workers can still be compelled to pay a part of union dues despite refraining from formal union membership. LIUNA Local 814 union bosses have refused to provide Wright with the necessary legally-required disclosure of how her forced dues are being spent. As a result, Wright filed a second charge with the NLRB on Monday.
Wright's charges will now be investigated by the NLRB regional office in Pittsburgh.
"LIUNA Local 814 union officials are illegally keeping workers in the dark about how their forced union dues are being spent," said Mark Mix, president of National Right to Work. "This case shows once again that workers desperately need Right to Work protections making union membership and dues payments completely voluntary."