Special Legal Notice for West Virginia Employees of AHF Products Issues by National Right to Work Foundation Staff Attorneys
Beverly, WV (March 16, 2020) – Amid reports of a strike called by Teamsters union officials, and due to requests for legal assistance that often accompany such union-instigated work stoppages, National Right to Work Legal Foundation staff attorneys have issued a special legal notice to workers at the AHF Products plant in Beverly, West Virginia.
The special legal notice outlines workers’ rights that union officials won’t share with them, and specifies what steps workers should take if they wish to exercise their right to work during the strike:
Teamster union officials have ordered AHF Products workers at the company’s Beverly, West Virginia plant to abandon their jobs and go on strike.
The situation raises serious concerns for workers who believe there is much to lose from engaging in a union-ordered strike.
Employees have the right under federal labor law to rebuff union officials’ strike demands, but it is important for you to be informed before you do so.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTINUE WORKING OR RETURN TO WORK DURING A STRIKE READ ALL OF THIS SPECIAL NOTICE BEFORE CROSSING A PICKET LINE TO WORK – IT MIGHT SAVE YOU THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS!
Read the complete legal notice here.
National Right to Work Foundation Publishes Special Legal Notice for Workers at St. Vincent Hospital
In response to inquiries from impacted employees, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation has published a special legal notice for nurses and support staff ordered by United Auto Workers (UAW) union officials to go on strike at St. Vincent Hospital in Toledo, Ohio.
Workers interested in returning to work should read the notice before doing so to learn their their rights and protect themselves against attempts by union officials to levy punitive fines against workers who return to work.
St. Vincent’s nurses and support personnel should know they have the following rights:
1) You have the right to resign your membership in the union. If you don’t support this union, you can send the union a letter resigning your membership. A sample letter can be found HERE.
2) You have the right to go to work even if the union bosses order a strike. Union officials can (and often do) levy onerous monetary fines against union members who work during a strike. So, you should seriously consider resigning your union membership BEFORE you return to work during a strike, which is the only way to avoid these ruinous union fines and discipline. See Union Discipline and Employee Rights.
Your resignation letter must be postmarked THE DAY BEFORE you return to work, or hand delivered BEFORE you actually return to work. A sample letter is HERE.
3) You have the right to revoke your dues checkoff and stop paying dues during the period when there is no collective bargaining agreement in effect. You must send a letter to St. Vincents and the UAW to accomplish this. A sample letter is HERE.
4) You have the right to sign and circulate decertification petitions to change your bargaining representative. Information on this option can be found here.
5) If the UAW union officials ever sign a new contract with St. Vincent, you have the right to become a “Beck objector” and pay only reduced financial core fees instead of full membership dues. If you become a Beck objector, you will not be forced to pay for the UAW unions’ far left political and social agenda. Information about this option is found here.
According to the latest disclosure, the UAW admits that approximately 25% of its dues are spent on often controversial politics that you cannot legally be forced to pay.
Read the complete legal notice for St. Vincent Hospital nurses and support staff here.
The notice is note the only special legal notice recently issued in response workers needing to protect themselves from UAW officials’ actions.
The Foundation also recently published a special legal notice for autoworkers at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant informing them about their legal rights as UAW officials attempt to impose monopoly unionism on workers there. The special legal notice to Volkswagen employees, available in full here, summarizes these rights and notes that “workers not only have a right to learn information about the downsides of union affiliation, but also to share that information with their fellow team members”:
For example, UAW officials won’t want workers to learn about the many times UAW officials violated workers’ rights while enriching themselves, including in an ongoing federal corruption case that has already resulted in multiple top union officials going to jail. In fact, it the last ten years there have been 82 criminal enforcement actions against UAW officials by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Department of Justice for conspiracy to defraud, embezzlement, theft, knowledge of a conspiracy, and/or receiving prohibited payments.
Partially as a result of those violations, over the last 10 years the UAW’s reported total liabilities have increased to $115,925,262 as of 2018. Such financial desperation has led the UAW to violate federal labor law and Michigan’s Right to Work law, such as when it was caught red-handed forcing represented employees in Michigan, a Right to Work state like Tennessee, to pay dues against their will.
Get the facts before you sign your name on any UAW petition or decide to vote for the UAW officials in an election. Union officials cannot legally infringe on your rights to hear and disseminate information critical of the union and union officials.
You have the legal right to refrain from signing a union authorization card or voting for the UAW. You also have the legal right to rescind a union authorization card after it has been signed. Whether you wish to sign a union authorization card or vote for the UAW is completely up to you. It is unlawful for an employer or a union to threaten or coerce any employee in the exercise of these rights.
Workers can learn about their specific legal rights during a strike based on their industry by visiting the Foundation’s webpage: “What if I want to continue working during a strike?”
Call the National Right to Work Foundation at 800-336-3600 if you want to discuss your legal rights, or to request legal assistance. You can also use our free legal request form: https://www.nrtw.org/free-legal-aid
National Right to Work Foundation Offers Free Legal Aid to VW Chattanooga Workers Targeted for Unionization by UAW Officials
Scandal-ridden Detroit-based union was rejected by workers in 2014 vote
Chattanooga, Tenn. (April 15, 2019) – The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping workers protect their rights against compulsory union abuses, is offering free legal aid to employees at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant. The offer comes as United Auto Workers (UAW) union officials once again attempt to force workers at the plant into the union’s monopoly bargaining ranks.
UAW organizers attempted to unionize the facility’s workers five years ago, even demanding that the company install the union through a coercive union card check. However, when the VW workers eventually held a secret ballot vote they rejected UAW representation 712-626. Foundation staff attorneys provided free legal aid to VW workers both before and after the 2014 vote, including in defending the result of the vote after UAW lawyers moved to overturn the union’s defeat at the National Labor Relations Board.
Foundation staff attorneys also assisted VW workers in filing charges, citing improprieties in the UAW’s card check campaign in Chattanooga, which included union attempts to get workers to sign union authorization cards through coercion and misrepresentation and the UAW’s use of cards signed too long ago to be legally valid.
To guard against similar improprieties surrounding the proposed election now sought by union organizers, the Foundation is once again offering free legal aid to VW Chattanooga team members. Additionally, Foundation staff attorneys have created a special legal notice to the workers explaining their legal rights. That notice can be found on the Foundation’s website here.
Regarding UAW officials’ renewed push for union monopoly bargaining powers over the Volkswagen Chattanooga employees, National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix offered the following comments:
“UAW boss demands that both Volkswagen and the community be silent suggests they are scared that if workers get all the facts the workers will want nothing to do with this scandal-ridden union. Just days ago a federal judge labeled the UAW a ‘co-conspirator’ in a corruption and embezzlement scandal that has already resulted in numerous UAW officials being sent to prison for their role in illegally stealing workers’ training funds. The UAW’s desire to hold this vote as quickly as possible is apparently an attempt to make workers vote without the full facts and before the next embarrassing development in the union’s ever-expanding corruption scandal.”
Michigan Workers Pursue Federal Unfair Labor Practice Charges against Unions for Illegal Dues Seizures
Grand Rapids worker files NLRB charge against Teamsters, while Dearborn worker wins settlement with Ford Motor Company in ongoing case with UAW
Grand Rapids, MI (January 29, 2019) – A Michigan worker has filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with free legal aid from National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys because his employer has continued unlawfully deducting union dues from his paycheck for union officials, even after he instructed the union to cease taking dues from his wages.
Parnell White, employed as a driver by Head Start of Kent County in Walker, Michigan, sent a letter to International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 406 in Grand Rapids, resigning his union membership and revoking his authorization for Teamsters union officials to deduct any further union membership dues.
The letter was received by union officials on November 27, 2018, during the union’s prescribed annual 15-day “window period” to revoke dues authorization. However, the union refused to acknowledge his letter, and dues continue to be taken out of White’s paycheck and received by union officials without his permission.
White’s charge alleges that the union officials’ actions violate his rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Those illegal actions are preventing him from enjoying the protections of Michigan’s Right to Work Law which prohibits union officials from forcing workers to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment.
This charge is similar to another ongoing case in Dearborn, Michigan. There Lloyd Stoner filed unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB against the United Auto Workers (UAW) union and his employer, the Ford Motor Company, with free legal assistance from Foundation staff attorneys.
UAW union officials refused to acknowledge Stoner’s March 2018 request to stop all deductions of union dues from his paycheck. Instead, his employer continued to take union dues from his hard-earned wages and continued sending the dues to the union.
Earlier this month, Stoner won a settlement with Ford Motor Company, although the charge against UAW is still outstanding. Along with other conditions, Ford will refund any outstanding deducted dues with interest to Stoner. The company also must post public notices to employees informing them of their rights to abstain from supporting union activities. The case against the UAW continues.
“Union officials have repeatedly refused to respect workers’ legal rights in the Great Lakes State, as demonstrated by the more than 100 cases workers have filed in Michigan since Right to Work was enacted there six years ago,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. “Rather than win the voluntary support of rank-and-file workers, in their efforts to stuff their pockets Michigan union bosses continue to systematically violate the rights of the very workers they claim to represent.”
New Hampshire State Employees File Class Action Lawsuit Against SEIU Seeking Refund of Illegally Seized Union Fees
Union officials violated civil servants’ First Amendment rights under the Supreme Court’s Janus decision by deducting unauthorized forced fees
Concord, NH (January 18, 2019) – New Hampshire state workers filed a class action lawsuit in federal court with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys stating that union officials violated their constitutional rights by forcing them to pay unauthorized union fees as a condition of employment.
State employees Patrick Doughty and Randy Severance are suing the State Employees’ Association of New Hampshire (SEIU Local 1984) in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire.
The employees are asking the court to order union officials to refund the fees seized from their wages and those of countless other New Hampshire public employees who were subjected to the same unconstitutional mandatory union payments.
For years, the state forcibly deducted union fees from the two employees’ paychecks at the behest of union officials, even though neither was a member of SEIU Local 1984, nor had they agreed to pay any union fees. The lawsuit seeks refunds of all forced fees seized by the union going back at least three years as New Hampshire’s statute of limitations permits.
Taking union fees from Doughty and Severance without their explicit authorization violated their First Amendment rights, according to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME, a case argued and won by Foundation staff attorneys in 2018. The High Court ruled in Janus that coercing civil servants into financially subsidizing a union violates their rights to free speech and free association.
The ruling also made it clear that before union officials can collect any dues or fees from them, public employees must affirmatively opt in for such payments and must knowingly waive their First Amendment right not to pay. The Supreme Court’s Janus ruling also observed that public sector unions have been “on notice” since at least the 2012 Knox v. SEIU decision – also argued and won by Foundation staff attorneys – that forced union fees were likely incompatible with the First Amendment.
“For years, New Hampshire union bosses violated the First Amendment rights of the very public employees they claimed to represent,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. “Just as a bank robber caught red-handed would never be allowed to keep the proceeds of such criminal behavior, union officials must also return the money they’ve pilfered from the paychecks of hundreds of thousands of workers across the country in violation of the Constitution, the supreme law of the land.”
Special Legal Notice Informs Los Angeles Teachers of Right to Work During Union Strike Against Public Schools
National Right to Work Foundation attorneys inform teachers of how to exercise legal right to continue working despite UTLA union-ordered strike
Los Angeles, CA (January 11, 2019) – The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation has issued a Special Legal Notice informing Los Angeles teachers of their rights regarding the strike that United Teachers Los Angeles officials have ordered.
The notice explains that, although union officials have ordered teachers out on strike, employees have the legal right to rebuff union officials’ strike demands. The notice informs teachers unwilling to abandon their students how to protect themselves against union retaliation by resigning their formal union membership prior to working while union officials are demanding they cease educating students.
According to the notice:
“Teachers and other school employees who don’t want to abandon their schools and their students are advised to carefully read the following notice about their legal rights. The situation raises serious concerns for employees who believe there is much to lose from a union ordered strike. Employees have the legal right to rebuff union officials’ strike demands, but it is important for them to be informed before they do so.”
The notice, which can be found on the National Right to Work Foundation website at www.nrtw.org/special-legal-notice-teachers-los-angeles, provides important legal information for any teacher who wishes to continue to work during the strike.
“Teachers shouldn’t be kept in the dark any longer about their legal protections in the event of a strike,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Despite union boss pressure, Los Angeles educators should know that they do not have to abandon their classrooms simply because union officials make demands. The Foundation will provide free legal aid for any teacher or other worker who seeks to exercise his or her rights, or is subjected to threats for doing so.”
Workers can request free legal aid at www.nrtw.org/free-legal-aid or by calling the Foundation toll-free at 1-800-336-3600.
Special Legal Notice to Rhode Island Public Employees: Supreme Court’s Janus Ruling Means You Can Resign from Union & Cut off Dues at Any Time
Legal group that won Janus case denounces Rhode Island union bosses and public officials who are misleading workers about their rights
RHODE ISLAND (October 11, 2018) – In response to reports that the Rhode Island Attorney General and Ocean State union officials are misinforming teachers and other public employees of their legal protections under the Foundation-won Janus decision, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys have issued a Special Legal Notice for all Rhode Island teachers who wish to exercise their right to stop financially supporting a union.
The notice can be found here: Setting the Record Straight on Teacher Rights in Rhode Island after Janus v. AFSCME Council 31.
The notice comes after Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin – who signed onto an anti-Janus brief at the Supreme Court and received major support from union officials in his runs for public office – made the false claim that the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling “only affects non-union members” and does not apply to union members.
The Attorney General is wrong. Under Janus all government employees have the right to resign their union membership and immediately stop any financial payments to union officials. Because the Supreme Court decision made it clear that public workers must opt-in to any union payments and explicitly waive their constitutional rights, union members cannot be restricted if they seek to resign from the union and stop the payment of any union dues or fees.
The Bristol-Warren Education Association (BWEA) and the National Education Association of Rhode Island (NEARI) also issued a letter blatantly misleading teachers about their Janus rights. The letter claims that union nonmembers must pay a NEARI attorney to file a grievance against the union. However, as the Foundation’s notice states, unions are legally obligated to provide grievance service to both members and nonmembers as part of its exclusive monopoly bargaining status.
The BWEA and NEARI union officials’ letter also incorrectly claims that nonmembers are unable to request days from the Sick Leave Bank, even though the BWEA’s monopoly bargaining agreement establishes the Sick Leave Bank for all teachers, including nonmembers, covered by the agreement.
Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, released the following statement regarding the notice:
“It’s shameful that the Attorney General of Rhode Island and union officials in the state are attempting to mislead public employees about their legal protections. Under Janus, any public sector employee can at any time exercise the First Amendment right to stop paying union dues and fees to a union they do not wish to support. Any suggestion to the contrary is false and is simply a cynical union boss money grab.
“Union officials ought to focus on earning the trust and support of the workers they claim to represent. Instead, they and their political allies are attempting to wield their unique monopoly bargaining privileges to discriminate against workers who seek to exercise their Janus rights. Any Rhode Island public teacher or other public employee who has been blocked from stopping union payments as is their right under Janus can turn to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation for free legal assistance.”
National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys are already representing workers in lawsuits across the country who have been wrongly blocked from exercising their rights under Janus.
Because of the numerous requests from workers for information about their rights under the Foundation-won Janus v. AFSCME decision, the Foundation established MyJanusRights.org to educate public employees about their protections under Janus.
The site also enables workers to request free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation if their rights are not being respected by union officials.
October 5, 2018 – Officials of UNITE HERE have ordered Marriott employees out on strike across the country.
The situation raises serious concerns for employees who believe there is much to lose from a union-ordered strike. Employees have the right under federal labor law to rebuff union officials’ strike demands, but it is important for you to be informed about that right before you do so.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO WORK DURING A STRIKE READ ALL OF THIS SPECIAL NOTICE BEFORE RETURNING TO WORK – IT MIGHT SAVE YOU THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS!
UNITE HERE union officials have a decades long history of disciplining, fining and abusing workers who do not kow-tow to their dictates, as these reports show:
For this reason, Marriott employees may want to contact the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation to learn how they can avoid fines and other vicious union discipline for continuing to report to work to support themselves and their families. Much of the important information about your rights can be found on our website here:
The Foundation wants you to learn about your legal rights from independent sources. You should not rely on what self-interested union officials tell you. For over four decades, Foundation attorneys have worked in the courts to protect and expand the rights of individual employees in situations such as strikes. It is the nation’s premier organization exclusively dedicated to providing free legal assistance to employee victims of forced unionism abuse.
Marriott employees should know they have the following rights:
1) You have the right to resign your membership in the union. If you don’t support this union, you can send it a letter resigning your membership. You cannot legally be required to be a union member.
2) You have the right to go to work even if the union bosses order a strike. Union officials can (and often do) levy onerous monetary fines against union members who work during a strike. So, you should seriously consider resigning your union membership BEFORE you return to work during a strike, which is the only way to avoid these ruinous union fines and discipline. See Union Discipline and Employee Rights. Your resignation letter must be postmarked THE DAY BEFORE you return to work, or be hand delivered BEFORE you actually return to work, ideally with a witness.
3) If you become a nonmember, you will have the right to become a "Beck objector" and pay only reduced "financial core" fees instead of full membership dues. If you become a Beck objector, you will not be forced to pay for the UNITE HERE union’s far left political and social agenda.
4) You also have the right to revoke your dues check-off and stop allowing the union hierarchy to automatically collect money from your paycheck every week while no contract is in effect. You can send letters to the union and your employer revoking your authorization to have union dues deducted from your paycheck.
5) If you wish to eject an unaccountable union hierarchy from your workplace, you have the right to sign and circulate a decertification petition to obtain a secret ballot election to do so. See Decertification Election.
Here is a sample letter for employees who wish to resign their union membership and become Beck objectors.
NOTE: Although not legally required, it is a better practice to send your letter to the union by certified mail, return receipt requested, and save a copy of your letter and the return receipt to prove delivery. If you hand deliver a letter, make sure that you have a reliable witness to the delivery. In our experience, angry and dishonest union officials often pretend they did not actually receive resignations and initiate discipline against non-striking workers anyway. A copy of the letter should also be delivered to the employer’s human resources or payroll department.
West Virginia Resort Worker Files Unfair Labor Practice Charge After Union Officials Illegally Take His Money
Greenbrier employee’s case demonstrates tactics used by union bosses to extort forced dues
White Sulphur Springs, WV- A Greenbrier Hotel employee has filed a federal unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Laborers’ International Union of North America, Local 1182. Reginald Gibbs filed the charge with free legal representation provided by National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys. The charge states that union officials violated his rights by using mandatory union fees for lobbying efforts and failing to provide necessary disclosures of spending by union affiliates.
Gibbs, a slot machine technician at West Virginia’s historic Greenbrier Hotel & Resort, previously turned to National Right to Work Foundation attorneys for help in filing a motion to intervene in a court case defending West Virginia’s Right to Work law. That law ensures that union membership and financial support are completely voluntary. In that lawsuit, the West Virginia Supreme Court ruled that the law should go into effect, with the Chief Justice calling a lower court’s decision to grant a preliminary injunction against the Right to Work law a “monumental failure of legal reasoning.”
Although the state Supreme Court’s ruling means that the Right to Work law is currently in effect, forced dues contracts entered into before the law’s enactment, such as that at the Greenbrier, are exempted from the law. Thus, Local 1182 officials can have Gibbs fired for not paying union fees. However, even absent full Right to Work protections, workers are entitled to certain protections under the National Labor Relations Act as interpreted in the 1988 Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court case Communications Workers v. Beck.
After receiving his Beck-mandated notice and audit that should explain in detail how forced union dues were being spent, Gibbs noticed several discrepancies that violate his rights. Specifically, as his NLRB charge notes, union officials improperly used dues for political lobbying efforts and failed to adequately disclose how the dues were spent by union affiliates. The NLRB will now investigate the charge.
“Despite U.S. Supreme Court precedent that has been the law for almost 30 years, union officials routinely violate the rights of the workers they claim to represent, to extract extra money from their paychecks,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Fortunately, due to West Virginia’s new Right to Work law, once the current union contract expires, union bosses will no longer be able to play games with the union audit process, because Mr. Gibbs can finally stop all union payments.”
“This case provides another vivid example of why West Virginia workers need the protections provided by the Mountain State’s Right to Work law,” added Mix.