Dearborn, MI (August 20, 2014) – A Dearborn-area Ford Motor Company worker has filed federal charges against the United Auto Workers (UAW) union and the company for violating his rights.
With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Todd Lemire, a 16-year Dearborn Tool & Die plant worker, filed the charges last week with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
On April 7, 2014, Lemire sent a letter to Ford Motor and UAW union officials exercising his statutory rights to resign his union membership and refrain from full union dues. Under Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court precedent, nonmember workers can refrain from paying for union boss politics and members-only events. The current contract was agreed to before Michigan’s Right to Work law came into effect, which is why Lemire cannot yet cut off all union dues and fees.
Even though UAW union officials acknowledged Lemire’s request, Ford continued to confiscate full union dues from Lemire’s paychecks. Lemire sent a second letter, this time informing UAW union officials that full dues were still being taken from his paychecks. UAW union officials returned the illegally-taken union dues.
Despite Lemire’s repeated attempts to refrain from full dues-paying union membership, Ford Motor continues to confiscate, and UAW union officials continue to accept, full union dues from Lemire’s paychecks.
“No worker should be forced to jump over hurdles to exercise their right to refrain from union affiliation,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “This case underscores just how important Michigan’s Right to Work law making union dues payments completely voluntary is for workers.”
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 around 250 cases nationwide per year.