Resort workers get caught in union membership Twilight Zone
Anaheim, CA (September 25, 2012) – With the help of National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, two Disneyland Resort Grand California Hotel employees have filed federal charges against a local union for violating their rights.
Jose Luis Sanchez and Liz Abdul-Nour filed federal charges against the UNITE HERE Local 11 union with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office in Los Angeles.
UNITE HERE union officials never notified Sanchez, Abdul-Nour, and other Disneyland Resort hotel workers of their right to refrain from formal union membership and object to paying full union dues. Because California lacks a Right to Work law, workers can be compelled to pay union fees as a condition of employment. However, Supreme Court precedent guarantees that employees have the right to refrain from union membership and the right to opt out of paying for union activities unrelated to workplace bargaining, such as members-only events and political lobbying.
Additionally, union officials refuse to follow federal disclosure requirements and provide the workers with an independently-audited financial breakdown of all forced-dues union expenditures and the opportunity to challenge the amount of forced union fees before an impartial decision maker.
Moreover, under the union's policy, workers who exercise their right to refrain from formal union membership are automatically forced back into paying full union dues every year and charged a re-initiation fee unless they annually object. Foundation staff attorneys scored a legal victory in August 2010 for workers who were subjected to a similar burdensome Machinist union boss policy requiring employees to annually renew their objection to supporting union politics and other non-bargaining expenses or be converted back to paying full union dues.
Union officials also illegally threatened nonmembers that if they do not join the union, the union brass will not fairly represent them.
"These workers may feel like they are in the Twilight Zone: They exercise their right to refrain from UNITE HERE union membership, then they wake up and are forced into paying full union dues again," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Union bosses are illegally trapping workers into paying union dues and intimidating employees who have the temerity to not want to subsidize the union bosses' political agenda. This case is yet another example of how California desperately needs a Right to Work law, which would make union membership and dues payments strictly voluntary."
Twenty-three states have Right to Work protections for employees. Public polling shows that nearly 80 percent of Americans and union members support the Right to Work principle of voluntary unionism.