Union officials illegally attempting to levy five figure fines against Verizon employees who chose to work despite union boss-initiated work stoppage
New York, NY (October 18, 2016) – Seven Verizon employees have filed federal unfair labor practice charges against the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union for violating federal labor law after the employees exercised their right to resign their union memberships during a high profile union boss-ordered strike in April.
In April, CWA union officials announced a coordinated work stoppage at Verizon facilities and ordered workers up and down the East Coast, from Massachusetts to Virginia, to abandon their jobs. CWA Local 1107, which is the target of the NLRB charges, participated in the strike.
Soon after CWA union officials ordered the strike, the workers chose to resign from the union and return to work. Under federal law workers cannot be compelled to join in a union-boss ordered strike. However, under a 1972 NLRB ruling, to protect themselves from internal union discipline they must resign their formal union membership before to returning to work, as each of these workers did.
Nonetheless, these workers were notified by CWA officials that they were being tried by the unions on internal charges of violating the union’s constitution, despite the fact that these workers were not union members when they returned to work and thus are protected by federal law.
The workers refused to attend the union’s vigilante court, protesting that it had no jurisdiction over them as non-members.
On September 15th, the union held a sham trial and fined the workers for exercising their federally protected rights. Soon after, each worker was informed by letter that they had been fined sums of between nine and thirteen thousand dollars.
“Here is yet another group of union bosses illegally fining the workers whom they claim to represent for having the audacity to stand up for themselves,” said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Hard working Americans should not have to fear sham trials and shadow courts punishing them for providing for their families. This pattern of abuses is why New York needs a Right to Work law to protect worker’s 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, assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases nationwide per year.