New York Stock Exchange Employee Files Federal Charges Against Union
Secretive union officials refuse to provide employee with accounting of vast union political expenditures

September/October 2000 Issue

New York, NY – The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is a monument to America’s free enterprise system – a place where average working men and women are able to invest and reap the fruits of their labor as they see fit. But Big Labor’s influence even reaches stock exchange employees like John Twomey.

Union bosses forced Twomey to pay his hard-earned money to fund union political activities he doesn’t believe in – activities that are directed at destroying the entrepreneurial spirit and wrecking America’s booming economy.

Union officials hide political spending

To protect Twomey’s rights, National Right to Work Foundation attorneys filed federal charges against the secretive Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 153 for forcing him to pay union dues while failing to provide disclosure of union expenditures, including money spent on union political activities.

Twomey charges OPEIU union officials with failing to provide a proper independent audit, failing to provide any financial information about OPEIU International expenditures, and refusing to allow his challenge of union expenditures.

In the Foundation-won Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that union officials must provide independently audited disclosure of their books and justify the lawfulness of their expenditures before seizing any forced union dues from employees.

“Union officials’ forced extraction of political campaign cash is a serious violation of employee rights and a slap in the face of New York Stock Exchange employees,” said Randy Wanke, Director of Legal Information for the Foundation.

Foundation featured in Wall Street Journal

Although Twomey resigned from the union in 1997, union officials still forced him to pay union dues as a condition of employment. After reading an article about the National Right to Work Foundation in the Wall Street Journal, Twomey demanded that union officials provide him with an independent audit of union spending.

Union officials ignored Twomey and continued to break the law by sending him incomplete, unaudited, financial statements.

Twomey expressed his outrage in an interview with Foundation Action. “Union bosses are only fulfilling their own agendas with my money, without my consent. I should be able to support my own political agendas without unwittingly supporting someone else’s.”

Using standard union delaying tactics, union officials refuse to allow his challenge, claiming Twomey hasn’t detailed his specific objections to paying their dues. Twomey, in fact, had sent several letters specifying his objections, but since the union has illegally denied him an audited financial statement, he is unable to further detail his objections to union spending.

Despite public opinion, Big Labor’s influence growing

Big Labor’s assault on the rights of workers has reached epidemic proportions. If this type of compulsory unionism abuse can take place at the NYSE, it can take place anywhere.

Big Labor has made its economy-wrecking agenda obvious. Big Labor’s High Command is using forced dues to intentionally break down America’s free market system in order to bring citizens to their knees in servitude to Big Government. The more union bosses strangle the economy with excessive job-killing regulations and sky-high taxes, the more American citizens are forced to rely upon the “nanny state” to take care of them.

Foundation Director of Legal Information Randy Wanke reaffirmed the Foundation’s commitment to protecting the rights of courageous workers like John Twomey: “This case shows just how pervasive and deep-seated Big Labor’s stranglehold is on American workers. Foundation attorneys must continue to hold these lawbreakers accountable at every turn.”


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