Union bosses violate Connecticut state police trooper’s rights
Hartford, CT (August 2, 2012) – A Connecticut state trooper has filed a state charge against a local union for violating his rights.
With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, state police trooper Marc Lamberty of Hartford County filed the charge with the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations.
In June 2011, Lamberty resigned from formal union membership in the Connecticut State Police Union and invoked his right to refrain from paying full union dues.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Foundation's Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson (1986) case that union officials can collect union fees as a condition of employment, but must first provide nonmember public workers with an independently-audited financial breakdown of all forced-dues union expenditures and the opportunity to object and challenge the amount of forced union fees before an impartial decision maker. This minimal safeguard is designed to ensure that workers have an opportunity to refrain from paying for union boss political activities and union member-only events.
Union officials continue to deduct full union dues from the officer's paychecks as if he is a union member. After Lamberty sent a letter requesting that union officials acknowledge his rights and provide him with the financial breakdown of the union's expenditures, union bosses refunded only three months of the illegally-taken money and promised to provide the required disclosure documents.
To date, union officials refuse to return the rest of the illegally-taken union dues to the trooper, provide him with a breakdown of union expenditures and give him an opportunity to challenge the forced union fees before an independent third party.
Lamberty seeks refunds of the amount of forced union dues payments illegally taken from his paychecks and to enjoin future collection of any dues until union officials comply with the requirements the Supreme Court established in Hudson.
"Again and again union officials keep rank-and-file workers in the dark to keep their forced-dues gravy train going," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "To prevent these types of forced unionism abuses in the future, Connecticut needs to pass a Right to Work law making union affiliation and dues payments completely voluntary for all of its workers."
Twenty-three states have Right to Work protections for workers. Recent public polling shows that nearly 80 percent of Americans and union members support the Right to Work principle of voluntary unionism.