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News Release

Department of Labor Waters Down Proposed Changes in Union Reporting Requirements

SPRINGFIELD, Va. – National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation President Mark Mix made the following statement on the Department of Labor’s announced changes in union financial disclosure requirements:

"Employees have long been kept in the dark as to how union officials spend their compulsory union dues. However, the new regulations issued today by the Department of Labor betray the goal of creating meaningful financial transparency contemplated at the beginning of this process. As part of an apparent effort to soften the blow to union officials who have opposed the notion of increasing union accountability from day one, several substantial, last-minute concessions were made.

"For example, the threshold for itemization of expenditures was raised to $5,000 from an originally proposed level of $250 (and later $2,000), allowing the concealment of a vast majority of union disbursements. The new disclosure requirements also fail to require any kind of independent audit or verification -- an exemption that companies and non-profit organizations do not enjoy. And last, distinct categories of expenditures have been arbitrarily lumped together -- such as lobbying and political activism and organizing and contract administration -- thwarting employees from learning to what extent union officials are playing politics or recruiting more members to their private ideological cause using mandatory union dues.

"This last-minute gutting of the regulations betrays President Bush's goal of creating meaningful union transparency. This entire process further demonstrates that the only way to rein in union corruption is to eliminate the special privileges union officials enjoy to force employees to join or support a union in the first place."

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.

Millville Union Hit with Federal Charges for Illegal Seizure of Forced Union Dues for Politics

Millville, NJ (September 29, 2003) — Enjoying free legal aid from attorneys with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, an employee of Friedrich & Dimmock glass tubing company filed federal charges against local union officials for denying his right to cut off payment of forced dues used for union politics. Orville Ziennker, along with nine other non-union workers at Friedrich & Dimmock’s Millville plant, filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics, & Allied Workers International (GMP) Union Local 219. The NLRB is responsible for investigating the charges and will decide whether to prosecute the union for unfair labor practices. “GMP union officials’ actions show they only care about stuffing their coffers with union dues rather than respecting the wishes of rank-and-file employees they claim to represent,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. In July, a letter from the union to the workers failed to adequately detail both the Local and International union’s expenditures of their forced dues, including a breakdown of chargeable and non-chargeable union expenditures. Ziennker and his fellow workers are also challenging the union’s forced-dues objection procedure, which requires workers to file annual objections to paying for union ideological activities, and illegally strips them of their right to file charges with the NLRB challenging the amount of forced dues without first filing a challenge with the American Arbitration Association. The actions of GMP union officials violate the Foundation-won Communications Workers v. Beck U.S. Supreme Court decision. Under Beck, workers are allowed to resign from formal union membership, and halt and reclaim the portion of forced union dues spent on activities unrelated to collective bargaining, such as union politics, organizing, and public relations. Union officials must also provide workers a list of activities they claim they can compel non-members to subsidize. “No one should be forced to pay compulsory dues to a union, especially when its officials continually abuse that federally granted special privilege,” stated Gleason. “Until New Jersey workers enjoy the protections of a Right to Work law, workers will continue suffering this type of abuse at the hands of self-serving union officials.”

Federal Government to Prosecute Nation’s Largest Teacher Union For Religious Discrimination

Cleveland, Ohio (September 29, 2003) – The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has found that officials of the National Education Association (NEA) teacher union and several affiliates are repeatedly violating the rights of teachers of faith to refrain from unwanted union affiliation on the basis of their sincerely held religious beliefs. The formal determination released in recent days by EEOC officials comes on the heels of a two-year battle waged for teachers of religious faith by attorneys with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation that led to congressional hearings, sustained national media coverage, and ultimately, a previous conciliation agreement requiring the unions to refrain from hamstringing and harassing teachers who asserted religious objections to supporting a union they believe to be involved in immoral activities. The conciliation agreement signed last fall, which EEOC officials have now determined the the NEA, Ohio Education Association, and a local affiliate union have violated, required union officials to process teachers’ religious objections in a timely fashion and not to require a renewed objection each year. “This outrageous and repeated religious discrimination by NEA officials shows they think they are above the law and they have no respect for people of faith,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. “These tactics are designed to harass and deter teachers who consider objecting to the NEA’s radical political and social agenda.” Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, union officials may not force any employee to financially support a union if doing so violates the employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs. In order to accommodate the conflict between an employee’s faith and a requirement to pay fees to a union he believes to be immoral, the law allows employees instead to donate that money to charity. The unions’ continuing violations of Title VII became apparent during the investigation of charges filed at the EEOC. Foundation attorneys helped William Morgan, a practicing Quaker and custodian at Mentor Public Schools, who asserted a religious objection to supporting the union because it promotes pro-abortion and pro-homosexuality positions. In January 2003, Morgan asked the union hierarchy to accommodate his sincere religious objection, but he was rebuffed and union officials insisted he pay a fee to support the NEA and its affiliates.

News Release

Millville Union Hit with Federal Charges for Illegal Seizure of Forced Union Dues for Politics

Millville, NJ (September 29, 2003) — Enjoying free legal aid from attorneys with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, an employee of Friedrich & Dimmock glass tubing company filed federal charges against local union officials for denying his right to cut off payment of forced dues used for union politics.

Orville Ziennker, along with nine other non-union workers at Friedrich & Dimmock’s Millville plant, filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics, & Allied Workers International (GMP) Union Local 219. The NLRB is responsible for investigating the charges and will decide whether to prosecute the union for unfair labor practices.

“GMP union officials’ actions show they only care about stuffing their coffers with union dues rather than respecting the wishes of rank-and-file employees they claim to represent,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation.

In July, a letter from the union to the workers failed to adequately detail both the Local and International union’s expenditures of their forced dues, including a breakdown of chargeable and non-chargeable union expenditures. Ziennker and his fellow workers are also challenging the union’s forced-dues objection procedure, which requires workers to file annual objections to paying for union ideological activities, and illegally strips them of their right to file charges with the NLRB challenging the amount of forced dues without first filing a challenge with the American Arbitration Association.

The actions of GMP union officials violate the Foundation-won Communications Workers v. Beck U.S. Supreme Court decision. Under Beck, workers are allowed to resign from formal union membership, and halt and reclaim the portion of forced union dues spent on activities unrelated to collective bargaining, such as union politics, organizing, and public relations. Union officials must also provide workers a list of activities they claim they can compel non-members to subsidize.

“No one should be forced to pay compulsory dues to a union, especially when its officials continually abuse that federally granted special privilege,” stated Gleason. “Until New Jersey workers enjoy the protections of a Right to Work law, workers will continue suffering this type of abuse at the hands of self-serving union officials.”

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.
News Release

Federal Government to Prosecute Nation’s Largest Teacher Union For Religious Discrimination

Cleveland, Ohio (September 29, 2003) – The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has found that officials of the National Education Association (NEA) teacher union and several affiliates are repeatedly violating the rights of teachers of faith to refrain from unwanted union affiliation on the basis of their sincerely held religious beliefs.

The formal determination released in recent days by EEOC officials comes on the heels of a two-year battle waged for teachers of religious faith by attorneys with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation that led to congressional hearings, sustained national media coverage, and ultimately, a previous conciliation agreement requiring the unions to refrain from hamstringing and harassing teachers who asserted religious objections to supporting a union they believe to be involved in immoral activities.

The conciliation agreement signed last fall, which EEOC officials have now determined the the NEA, Ohio Education Association, and a local affiliate union have violated, required union officials to process teachers’ religious objections in a timely fashion and not to require a renewed objection each year.

“This outrageous and repeated religious discrimination by NEA officials shows they think they are above the law and they have no respect for people of faith,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. “These tactics are designed to harass and deter teachers who consider objecting to the NEA’s radical political and social agenda.”

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, union officials may not force any employee to financially support a union if doing so violates the employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs. In order to accommodate the conflict between an employee’s faith and a requirement to pay fees to a union he believes to be immoral, the law allows employees instead to donate that money to charity.

The unions’ continuing violations of Title VII became apparent during the investigation of charges filed at the EEOC. Foundation attorneys helped William Morgan, a practicing Quaker and custodian at Mentor Public Schools, who asserted a religious objection to supporting the union because it promotes pro-abortion and pro-homosexuality positions. In January 2003, Morgan asked the union hierarchy to accommodate his sincere religious objection, but he was rebuffed and union officials insisted he pay a fee to support the NEA and its affiliates.

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.

Legal Foundation to Assist Cintas Employees Harassed by UNITE Union Organizers

SPRINGFIELD, Va. (September 17, 2003) – The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation announced that it will offer free legal aid to Cintas employees whose rights are violated by union organizers from the Union of Needletrades, Industrial, and Textile Employees (UNITE). Currently UNITE organizers are involved in a top-down organizing drive, also known as a “corporate campaign,” intended to bully Cintas to force its employees to accept compulsory unionism. In spite of a growing number of voluntary petitions signed by workers in cities ranging from New York City, to Chicago, to San Francisco asking UNITE to leave them alone, union organizers have stepped up their efforts to pressure Cintas and its employees. If UNITE organizers are successful in their “corporate campaign,” Cintas employees could be denied the opportunity to vote on union representation through a secret ballot election. Instead UNITE organizers could use the highly coercive card-check process. These card-check drives often involve the use of intimidating “home visits,” joint union/employer captive audience speeches, video taping of workers entering and leaving work, and other pressure tactics. In fact, in a recent National Labor Relations Board ruling, UNITE was stripped of its illegally obtained bargaining power for using coercive tactics in an organizing drive in New York. Desperate for a new source of forced union dues, UNITE President Bruce Raynor said regarding Cintas, “it’s the right thing to do… to break the back of this employer.” Regarding Cintas, Raynor went on to say, “I don’t know how long it will take to bring Cintas down… but mark my words: We will.” Workers who have been threatened by UNITE organizers or feel their rights have been violated and wish to request legal assistance may send an e-mail message to legal@nrtw.org or call the Foundation toll-free at 800-336-3600.

News Release

Legal Foundation to Assist Cintas Employees Harassed by UNITE Union Organizers

SPRINGFIELD, Va. (September 17, 2003) – The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation announced that it will offer free legal aid to Cintas employees whose rights are violated by union organizers from the Union of Needletrades, Industrial, and Textile Employees (UNITE).

Currently UNITE organizers are involved in a top-down organizing drive, also known as a “corporate campaign,” intended to bully Cintas to force its employees to accept compulsory unionism. In spite of a growing number of voluntary petitions signed by workers in cities ranging from New York City, to Chicago, to San Francisco asking UNITE to leave them alone, union organizers have stepped up their efforts to pressure Cintas and its employees.

If UNITE organizers are successful in their “corporate campaign,” Cintas employees could be denied the opportunity to vote on union representation through a secret ballot election. Instead UNITE organizers could use the highly coercive card-check process. These card-check drives often involve the use of intimidating “home visits,” joint union/employer captive audience speeches, video taping of workers entering and leaving work, and other pressure tactics.

In fact, in a recent National Labor Relations Board ruling, UNITE was stripped of its illegally obtained bargaining power for using coercive tactics in an organizing drive in New York. Desperate for a new source of forced union dues, UNITE President Bruce Raynor said regarding Cintas, “it’s the right thing to do… to break the back of this employer.”

Regarding Cintas, Raynor went on to say, “I don’t know how long it will take to bring Cintas down… but mark my words: We will.”

Workers who have been threatened by UNITE organizers or feel their rights have been violated and wish to request legal assistance may send an e-mail message to legal@nrtw.org or call the Foundation toll-free at 800-336-3600.

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.

Federal Government to Prosecute Teamsters Union Local For Violating the Rights of Diehl Employees

DEFIANCE, Ohio (September 4, 2003) — In response to charges brought by employees at Diehl, Inc.’s evaporated milk plant, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board issued a formal complaint against Teamsters Local 908 for unfair labor practices. An administrative law judge will hold a hearing on the complaint on January 12, 2004. With the assistance of National Right to Work Foundation attorneys, Donald Manis filed federal charges in August and September 2001 against union officials for preventing him and his coworkers from exercising their right to reclaim forced union dues spent for politics and other non-bargaining activities. “Teamsters union bosses go to great lengths to force workers to pay for their ideological agenda,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. An agreement between Teamsters officials and Diehl forces all employees to pay union dues to keep their jobs. Under the Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court CWA v. Beck decision, employees cannot be forced to pay union dues for activities unrelated to collective bargaining, like politics and organizing. Union officials demanded the dues despite the fact that they had not provided, as required by the Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson decision, the employees with an independent audit breaking down union expenditures. Local 908 officials also unlawfully required employees to send multiple objection letters before being allowed their right to review the union’s finances, and they forced employees to pay for part of the cost of arbitration regarding the amount of the reduced dues objectors pay. Foundation attorneys are demanding that union officials return any illegally seized forced union dues, provide proper financial disclosure, and halt their practice of forcing objecting employees to go through an excessive bureaucratic process before being able to exercise their rights.

Alpena Union Hit with Federal Charges for Illegal Seizure of Forced Union Dues

Alpena, Mich. (September 4, 2003) — Obtaining free legal aid from attorneys with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, a Besser Company employee filed federal charges against local officials of the Boilermakers union for illegally forcing him to pay full union dues, including dues spent for politics. James Martin, an employee at Besser Company’s Alpena plant, filed the unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB) Union Local D-472. The NLRB is responsible for investigating the charges and will decide whether to prosecute the union for unfair labor practices. “These union officials’ actions show they care more about stuffing their coffers than respecting the wishes of rank-and-file employees they claim to represent,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. Within the past six months, Martin notified IBB union officials of his resignation from the union and intention to pay only those costs directly related to collective bargaining. Union officials have illegally continued seizing full union dues from Martin, despite never having provided a legally mandated audit to prove his dues were not funding unrelated activities. The actions of IBB union officials violate the Foundation-won Communications Workers v. Beck U.S. Supreme Court decision. Under Beck, workers are allowed to resign from formal union membership and halt and reclaim the portion of forced union dues spent on activities unrelated to collective bargaining, such as union politics, lobbying, and public relations. In addition, objecting workers are entitled to an independent audit to verify they are not subsidizing such activities. “No one should be forced to pay compulsory dues to a union, especially when its officials continually abuse that federally granted special privilege,” stated Gleason. “Until Michigan workers enjoy the protections of a Right to Work law, workers will continue suffering this type of abuse at the hands of self-serving union officials.”

News Release

Federal Government to Prosecute Teamsters Union Local For Violating the Rights of Diehl Employees

DEFIANCE, Ohio (September 4, 2003) — In response to charges brought by employees at Diehl, Inc.’s evaporated milk plant, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board issued a formal complaint against Teamsters Local 908 for unfair labor practices. An administrative law judge will hold a hearing on the complaint on January 12, 2004.

With the assistance of National Right to Work Foundation attorneys, Donald Manis filed federal charges in August and September 2001 against union officials for preventing him and his coworkers from exercising their right to reclaim forced union dues spent for politics and other non-bargaining activities.

“Teamsters union bosses go to great lengths to force workers to pay for their ideological agenda,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation.

An agreement between Teamsters officials and Diehl forces all employees to pay union dues to keep their jobs. Under the Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court CWA v. Beck decision, employees cannot be forced to pay union dues for activities unrelated to collective bargaining, like politics and organizing.

Union officials demanded the dues despite the fact that they had not provided, as required by the Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson decision, the employees with an independent audit breaking down union expenditures. Local 908 officials also unlawfully required employees to send multiple objection letters before being allowed their right to review the union’s finances, and they forced employees to pay for part of the cost of arbitration regarding the amount of the reduced dues objectors pay.

Foundation attorneys are demanding that union officials return any illegally seized forced union dues, provide proper financial disclosure, and halt their practice of forcing objecting employees to go through an excessive bureaucratic process before being able to exercise their rights.

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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