Charge detailing violation of employee’s rights comes after multiple top UAW chiefs have been sentenced to prison for widespread corruption and embezzlement of workers’ dues money

Louisville, KY (October 27, 2022) – Shiphrah Green, an employee at Ford’s Louisville Assembly Plant, has filed federal charges against the United Automobile Workers (UAW) Local 862 union at the plant. Her charges contend that union officials are violating her rights by seizing dues money from her paycheck after she resigned her membership and requested a stop to all dues. Green, who is represented for free by National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys, also hit Ford with federal charges for their officials’ role in the unlawful deduction of union dues.

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region 9 in Cincinnati will now investigate Green’s charges. The charges detail UAW and Ford officials forcing Green to navigate several unnecessary and unlawful steps to end her financial support for the union. They even state that the Local 862 president made threatening comments regarding Green’s job just because she exercised this basic free choice right. To date, the charges state, Ford and the UAW have not stopped collecting full union dues from Green’s paycheck.

Green’s charges argue that both the UAW union and Ford infringed on her rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which protects American private sector employees’ right to refrain from any or all union activities. Additionally, Kentucky is a Right to Work state, meaning union officials are forbidden by state law from getting workers fired merely for refusal to join or financially support a union.

UAW Officials Block Employee from Exercising Basic Rights

According to her charges, Green sent correspondence to both UAW and Ford officials on April 21, 2022 informing them she was resigning her union membership and cutting off union dues deductions from her wages. Neither party granted her request, and Green instead received an email from UAW Local 862’s president notifying her that she needed to be shown the purportedly “correct” method to leave the union.

At a meeting with union officials at the UAW union hall on April 25, UAW officials forced Green to answer questions about why she wanted to leave the union. They also demanded she sign a letter listing “benefits” Green would supposedly forgo if she went through with exiting the union.

The charge contends that NLRB precedent prohibits requiring workers to sign such a document just so they can exercise their right to end their union membership and stop dues deductions. UAW Local 862’s president apparently went even further. According to the charge, he told Green “if it were up to me, you’d lose your job for leaving the union.”

As this chain of events was ongoing, Green was also trying to get Ford management to end the dues deductions. This also proved fruitless, as Ford officials gave her several confusing responses and even told her at one point that she could only cease dues deductions in February 2023 – even though the previously authorized dues deduction document stated it could be revoked at will.

The charges contend that Ford violated federal law by “continuing to take full union dues” from Green’s paycheck at union bosses’ behest even after she had requested that they stop, and that UAW Local 862 violated federal law by continuing to accept those illegally-seized dues, by “restricting her union membership resignation, and by making threatening comments that would chill an ordinary employee’s exercise of Section 7 rights.”

New Evidence of UAW Corruption Emerges After Top UAW Chiefs Receive Jail Sentences

Green’s charges come as the UAW union is still reeling from the effects of a years-long investigation by federal prosecutors into massive corruption within the union hierarchy. The probe, as of July 2022, has already resulted in convictions of at least 17 people, including two former UAW presidents and at least nine other UAW top officials. The convicted former UAW presidents, Gary Jones and Dennis Williams, were sentenced to a combined 49 months in prison.

UAW officials were convicted most notably of embezzling millions from the union’s dues-stocked coffers for luxury golf vacations, expensive liquor and cigarettes, steak dinners, amusement park tickets, and more.

“The past few years have shown how deep anti-worker corruption runs within the UAW hierarchy. Ms. Green’s case is just one more manifestation of a culture that clearly values the ability to siphon money from rank-and-file employees far above respecting employee rights,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “Workers under UAW control in Kentucky should know that they have the right to cut off all union dues payments to union officials, and the right to end their memberships at will. Any obstacles created by union officials to hinder the exercise of these rights are illegal, and employees should reach out to Foundation staff attorneys for free legal aid if they encounter such roadblocks.”

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 Oct 27, 2022 in News Releases