Union officials threatened nonmember worker with benefits cuts and loss of seniority unless she paid dues
Las Vegas, NV (May 9, 2014) – A Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino snack bar attendant has won a federal judgment from a local union for violating her right to refrain from union affiliation.
With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Nani Sugianto won her case against the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 before a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) administrative law judge late last week.
In 2007, Sugianto resigned her union membership and refrained from dues payments. After nearly five years the union started to collect dues again without giving her notice. Sugianto stopped the union dues deductions.
Then, Sugianto filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB after a union steward illegally threatened her that she would lose all of her benefits and her seniority, and would be required to start over again as a new hire, unless she paid union dues even though she is not a union member. The steward made the threats while the union was trying to swell its membership rolls and prevent workers from exercising their right to work during a union-boss instigated strike.
After hearing conflicting testimony, the NLRB administrative law judge ruled that Sugianto was the more credible witness.
"Workers' rights are not a casino game," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "We applaud this worker's efforts to protect her rights under Nevada’s popular Right to Work law."
Under Nevada's Right to Work law, workers cannot be forced to pay union dues or fees as a condition of their employment.
Twenty-four states have Right to Work protections for employees. Public polling shows that nearly 80 percent of Americans and union members support the principle of voluntary unionism.