Los Angeles, CA (January 18, 2012) – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, two Los Angeles Times newspaper printing press operators have filed federal charges against a local Teamster union for violating their rights.
Leon Carey, Jr. and James Clayton filed the charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) last Wednesday.
Recently, Graphic Communications Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (GCC/IBT) Local 140-N union and company officials entered into a contract which purports to require all employees to be full-dues-paying union members, even though full membership cannot be enforced under federal law. Moreover, union officials failed to inform workers of their rights, including their right to refrain from full-dues-paying union membership as upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Foundation-won Communications Workers v. Beck case.
Instead, Teamster Local 140-N union officials sent the workers a letter ordering them to join the union and pay full dues or face termination while ignoring the workers’ previous letters informing union officials that they were refraining from union membership.
Because California is not a Right to Work state, employees can be forced to pay union dues and fees as a condition of employment. However, employees cannot be legally compelled to join a union against their will and cannot be compelled to pay union dues used for union politics and member-only events.
“Teamster union officials have conducted an illegal campaign to extract full union dues from these workers wanting to exercise their rights to refrain from formal union membership, even though union officials can still force these workers under their control regardless of their union membership status,” said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Making union membership and dues-payment completely voluntary is the only way to prevent this type of abuse in the future, which is why California desperately needs a Right to Work law.”
Workers in 22 states enjoy the protections of a state Right to Work law and 80 percent of Americans, including 80 percent of union members, support the Right to Work principle.
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, assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases nationwide per year.