News Release

UAW Union Bosses Hit With Federal Charges for Illegally Demanding Tropicana Casino Dealer Join Union

Nonunion casino dealer was threatened by union official: pay back dues or be fired

Evansville, IN (February 10, 2016) – A casino dealer has filed, with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the United Auto Workers International union, UAW Local 3048, and Tropicana Evansville casino. The charges state that UAW union officials illegally demanded that the worker join Local 3048 and pay back dues from the date of his hiring, or have his employment terminated.

Willie Smith began working as a dealer at the Tropicana Casino in Evansville, Indiana in 2014. UAW Local 3048 had a monopoly bargaining contract with the casino which expired in late January 2016. At that time, all casino dealers became fully covered by Indiana’s Right to Work law. When hired, Smith did not become a union member, and he subsequently paid no union dues or fees.

In late January 2016, a union official told Smith that he owed back union dues from the time he first started working at the casino. Smith was further told he had to sign a UAW membership form and dues deduction authorization form or his employment would be terminated. Federal labor law protects a worker’s right not to join a labor union, so Smith exercised that right and refused to sign the membership form. Smith was then told by a casino representative that, at the unions’ behest, his employment would be terminated. Under protest and solely to keep his job, Smith then signed the UAW membership and dues authorization forms.

Smith alleges union officials have failed to inform him of the exact amount of back dues they are demanding, and failed to give him adequate time to pay the back dues before they threatened his termination. Smith further alleges that, because the monopoly bargaining contract (under which union officials are demanding these fees) has expired, he has no legal obligation to pay the demanded back dues.

“Even in a Right to Work state like Indiana, union bosses just can’t seem to resist pressuring workers to fill their forced-dues funded coffers,” said Mark Mix, president of the NRTW Foundation. “It’s wrong that a hardworking individual trying to support his family has to endure intimidation and harassment on the job from union bosses.”

The National Labor Relations Board Region 25 office in Indianapolis will now investigate the charge.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.

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