Honolulu, HI (November 8, 2010) – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, a Hawaii Hilton Village Hotel employee has filed another round of federal unfair labor practice charges against UNITE HERE Local 5 union officials for attempting to have him fired for resigning from the union, refusing to pay dues for union politics, and informing his coworkers of their workplace rights.
Grant Suzuki has repeatedly clashed with union officials, filing successful unfair labor practice charges in 2008 to force UNITE HERE operatives to return illegally-seized union dues. Suzuki has since been targeted for harassment for informing his coworkers of their rights to opt-out of union dues, resign from union membership, and work during a union-instigated strike.
Because Hawaii lacks a Right to Work law, union officials can require nonmember employees to pay certain dues as a condition of employment. However, the Foundation-won Supreme Court precedent Communication Workers v. Beck holds that nonunion workers may not be charged for activities unrelated to union monopoly bargaining, including dues collected for union political activism and members-only activities. In 2009, UNITE HERE officials agreed to a settlement with Suzuki that refunded all dues collected for activities unrelated to workplace bargaining and required the union to post public notices informing hotel employees of their rights.
Instead of amending their workplace practices, however, union officials harassed Suzuki and attempted to have him fired from Hilton Village.
Suzuki’s charges will now be investigated by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
“Grant Suzuki had the temerity to stand up for his rights at work and union officials responded by trying to get him fired,” said Patrick Semmens, Legal Information Director for the National Right to Work Foundation. “If union officials can get away with intimidation, other employees will be discouraged from standing up for their workplace rights, which is why it’s vital the NLRB act immediately to punish UNITE HERE operatives for their thuggish behavior.”
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.