PALMDALE, Calif. (March 5, 2001) — A Lockheed Martin employee today filed federal charges against an international labor union after union officials illegally seized forced union dues from his paycheck to fund union political activities.
With the help of National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys, the aeronautics factory employee, Mark Thomley, filed federal unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) union, its District 725 affiliate, and its Palmdale-based Local 727-P affiliate.
“Mark Thomley and his coworkers are being forced to fork over their hard-earned money for political activities they don’t support,” said Randy Wanke, Director of Legal Information for the National Right to Work Foundation, a charitable organization that provides free legal aid to victims of compulsory unionism abuse.
The charges state that union officials devised a “rebate” scheme under which they seize fees used for politics and other nonchargeable expenditures from nonmembers’ paychecks. Union bureaucrats do not return the money – which (the charges state) “should never have been taken in the first place” – until several months later.
Union officials’ actions violate the Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court decision in Communications Workers v. Beck, which held that workers may withhold any forced union dues used for all activities unrelated to collective bargaining. In addition, union officials are violating NLRB rulings (in California Saw and Knife Works and other cases) requiring unions to provide objecting nonmembers with an “advance reduction” of their dues.
Foundation attorneys are demanding that the IAM union halt its practice of collecting full union dues from nonmembers and immediately return all money illegally confiscated from workers under the union’s “rebate” scheme.
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.