News Release

Hotel Union Faces Federal Charges for Forcing Nonmember Employees to Fund Lobbying, Strikes

Case emphasizes need for a Right to Work law in the Aloha State

Honolulu, HI (April 27, 2012) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, two Honolulu Hilton employees have filed federal unfair labor practice charges against the UNITE HERE Local 5 union.

Grant Suzuki and Daryl Sakugawa don’t belong to Local 5 but can still be forced to pay union dues and fees as a condition of employment because Hawaii lacks a Right to Work law. However, the Foundation-won Supreme Court precedent Communication Workers v. Beck holds that nonunion employees cannot be forced to pay for union activities unrelated to workplace bargaining, such as political lobbying or members-only activities.

In December 2011, Suzuki and Sakugawa received a breakdown of union financial expenditures from Local 5. According to the union’s books, both employees were forced to contribute to a variety of activities outside the scope of workplace negotiations, including UNITE HERE political lobbying and a union strike fund.

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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.

Posted on Apr 27, 2012 in News Releases