Kissimmee, FL (March 8, 2012) – An Osceola Regional Medical Center housekeeper has filed federal charges against a major healthcare union for repeatedly violating federal law by refusing to allow her to exercise her right to refrain from dues-paying union membership under Florida's popular Right to Work law.
With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, Imaculada Camara of St. Cloud filed the charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
On December 8, 2011, Camara sent a letter notifying Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Workers East officials that she was exercising her right to resign from union membership. Instead of acknowledging her request, SEIU officials rejected her letter because it was not sent via registered mail. On December 28, Camara sent a second letter, which SEIU officials again rejected, this time for not being timely.
In both instances, the SEIU officials' refusal to allow Camara to exercise her right to refrain from union membership clearly violates federal law because any worker has the right to resign from full-dues-paying union membership at any time and is not required to notify the union she is resigning via certified mail.
Camara's federal charge also challenges the legality of the union hierarchy's dues deduction authorization – a document used by union officials to automatically collect dues from employees' paychecks – which restrains a worker's ability to exercise their right to resign from union membership.
Eduardo Lopez, a colleague of Camara, filed a similar charge in January. The charges will be investigated by the NLRB Regional Office 12 in Tampa.
"SEIU officials are just making up excuses to prevent workers from exercising their constitutionally-protect right to refrain from union membership," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Schemes like this show that the ultimate goal of union officials is to collect more forced dues from workers, even when rank-and-file employees want nothing to do with the union."