Teamsters union officials illegally force school bus driver to pay for union political activities

New Milford, CT (March 30, 2023) – Connecticut school bus driver Mary Boland has filed federal charges against Teamsters Local 671 union after union officials violated her rights, as established under the Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court Beck decision, by illegally charging her union dues in excess of what she must pay in order to keep her job. These charges were filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Boland is being represented for free by National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys.

On October 20, 2022, Mary Boland submitted a letter to Teamsters Local 671 exercising her rights to opt out of union membership and pay a reduced union fee. This forced union fee must be verified by an independent audit of union expenditures. Individuals who opt out of formal union membership cannot be fired from their job by refusing to pay for “non-chargeable” union expenditures, like member-only activities or union political and lobbying spending.

Due to Connecticut lacking Right to Work protections, workers who oppose union boss agendas can still be forced to pay union fees as a condition of their continued employment. However, under the Foundation-won 1988 Beck decision, union officials can never require non-members to fund activities not directly related to union monopoly bargaining. Beck has been interpreted by the lower courts, and the NLRB, to require that union officials provide certain union financial disclosures to justify the amount they claim a worker can be required to pay.

However, in a letter to Boland dated November 2, 2022, the union acknowledged she invoked her rights under Beck, but failed to actually reduce those fees or provide the required audit. Union officials have charged Boland full union dues as of the filing of the NLRB charge on March 17, 2023, and have never provided the required audit to justify any dues deductions.

“In their apparent greed to extract as much money as possible from unwilling workers, Teamsters bosses are blatantly disregarding longstanding Supreme Court precedent,” commented Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “This case shows why Connecticut workers need the protection of a Right to Work law to make all union financial support strictly voluntary.”

“Had Right to Work protections been in place, Mary Boland and other Connecticut workers would have had the freedom to simply cut off all union dues,” Mix added. “Without these Right to Work Protections, however, workers find themselves having to tangle with union lawyers over what portion of union dues they can be legally fired for not paying.”

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 about 200 cases nationwide per year.

Posted on Mar 30, 2023 in News Releases