Union Bosses Put the Squeeze on Former Union President
Foundation attorneys shame union bullies in Pennsylvania

March/April 2000 Issue

Hazleton, Pa. - With the assistance of Foundation attorneys, one-time union president Patrick Quick has beaten back attempts by backstabbing union officials who tried to ruin him for his refusal to pay forced dues.

Having no choice but to agree with the persuasive arguments of Foundation attorneys, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found Graphic Communications Union Local 735-S of Hazleton, Pennsylvania guilty of unfair labor practices for filing a civil lawsuit against its former president.

"The Foundation intends to make all union officials pay through the nose for their mean-spirited harassment of honest, hard-working Americans," said Randy Wanke, Director of Legal Information for the Foundation. "Union bosses stall workers attempting to resign at the front door with a bureaucratic maze, while they sap every last penny from their paychecks through the back door."

Quick asserts Foundation-won Beck rights

The case arose last year when Quick, an employee of Quebecor Printing in Hazleton, notified a union boss of his desire to exercise his right to resign from union membership as affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the Foundation-won CWA v. Beck. Despite acknowledging receipt of Quick's letter of resignation, the union attempted to force Quick to support its activities.

Union officials claimed that the union's collective bargaining agreement contained a "membership" clause, which required Quick to maintain his membership in the union. However, Foundation attorneys discovered that the collective bargaining agreement only required workers to "apply for membership" and made no pronouncements about maintaining that membership - or the payment of dues and fees - as a condition of employment. Therefore Quick and other workers could not be responsible for payment of any union dues upon resignation.

Union militants wage vicious smear campaign

Quick's willingness to stand up for his rights made him the target of a vicious smear campaign from union militants. According to local newspaper reports, someone wrote "scab" on his locker. A flier was also passed around the plant that read: "He's a union turncoat and will sell you out for a piece of the action."

Though his employer finally honored his demand to stop dues deductions, Local 735-S officials continued to demand money from Quick's paychecks and began to threaten him with legal action and termination from his job.

After Quick refused to yield to their demands, local union bosses escalated their campaign of intimidation by dragging him into court. "I thought I was going to end up in jail," said Quick, who expressed his appreciation for the free legal aid provided by the Foundation and its generous supporters.

Rather than ending up in a jail cell for defending his freedom, Quick got the last laugh as the local media covered the Foundation's victory and exposed his tormentors for the thugs they are.


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