Los Angeles, CA (July 26, 2011) – With the help of National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys, a Granada Hills clerk has filed unfair labor practice charges against the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770 union. The charges state that union officials misled him into joining the union and paying full dues.
Jordan Rosenfield, an employee at Ralph’s Grocery Company, is subject to a monopoly bargaining agreement between his employer and UFCW Local 770 union officials, which means he can be forced to pay union dues and accept UFCW “representation” as a condition of employment.
However, no employee can be lawfully forced to join a union as a condition of employment. Moreover, the Foundation-won Supreme Court decision Communication Workers v. Beck holds that nonunion employees must be given an opportunity to opt out of paying for union activities unrelated to workplace bargaining, such as members-only events and political activism.
Despite this precedent, Rosenfield was told that he had to join the union and pay full union dues after taking a job with Ralph’s in late May. On June 30, UFCW officials sent Rosenfield a letter threatening to have him fired if he refused to pay an initiation fee, a reinstatement fee, and two months worth of union dues immediately.
Rosenfield’s charges will now be investigated by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the agency charged with administering private sector labor law.
“Unscrupulous UFCW bosses misled a 21-year old clerk into thinking he had to join up and pay full dues just to make a living,” said Patrick Semmens, legal information director for the National Right to Work Foundation. “While we hope the NLRB will quickly put an end to this deceitful practice, the only way to protect workers’ rights it to make union membership and dues payment strictly voluntary, which is why California needs a Right to Work law.”
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.