Repeat union offender highlights why Indiana needed Right to Work law that ends forced dues powers
Indianapolis, IN (March 30, 2012) – A union headquartered in suburban Chicago that is challenging Indiana's newly-enacted Right to Work law in federal court is again facing legal woes for violating workers' rights.
National Right to Work Foundation attorneys are providing free legal assistance to David Bercot of Orland, a certified wastewater operator for the ITR Concession Company, which services toll road rest stops in the Fort Wayne area. Bercot has field federal unfair labor practice charges against International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 150 for refusing to provide him information about union financial expenditures.
Bercot must accept IUOE officials' so-called "representation" and is still required to pay dues to the union to keep his job until the union's current contract expires, after which he will be freed from that requirement by Indiana’s new Right to Work law.
While Bercot is forced to pay a certain portion of union dues, he is also entitled to receive an independently-audited breakdown of union financial expenditures to help him determine how much money he is obligated to contribute. IUOE Local 150 union officials only provided Bercot with an incomplete breakdown of their financial expenditures.
Bercot filed federal charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region 25 in Indianapolis contesting the union hierarchy's lack of disclosure. Recently, IUOE Local 150 union officials were forced to settle another case by reimbursing two workers $1,268 after refusing to recognize their right to refrain from full-dues-paying union membership.
Bercot's charges also object to another aspect of union policy, which requires employees to renew their objection to paying full union dues during a brief "window period." If employees miss the window period, they must pay full union dues for another year.
Under federal law, workers have the right to permanently object to union dues.
Meanwhile, in response to IUOE Local 150 union bosses’ recent federal lawsuit against Indiana's Right to Work law, Bercot joined a group of Indiana workers from across the state to file an amicus brief in support of their newly-enacted Right to Work freedoms.
"IUOE Local 150 union bosses have waged a long campaign against Indiana's workers, even before their frivolous federal lawsuit against Indiana's new Right to Work law," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “A Right to Work law guards against IUOE bosses' continuing efforts to take workers' hard-earned money from their paychecks as a condition of employment."