Legal action filed in state court after UAW officials collected tens of thousands of dollars in payments in violation of state law, and illegally required workers to join union
Flint, MI (September 6, 2018) – A group of workers filed a class-action lawsuit in Michigan state court against United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 708 and STAT Emergency Medical Services to indicate their rights under the state Right to Work law that makes union membership and dues payments strictly voluntary. The workers filed the lawsuit, which seeks refunds of over $25,000 in illegally seized union dues and fees, with free legal aid from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.
The lawsuit asks for injunctive relief and the return of three years of dues and fees that were collected by UAW officials in violation of Michigan’s Right to Work law for private sector workers. As the complaint notes, in addition to the illegal forced dues, the workers have been required to be UAW members and dues were automatically deducted from their paychecks without their authorization, in violation of the law.
Both the required membership and automatic deduction policies violate state labor law. Michigan’s Right to Work law, which was enacted in 2013, protects workers’ choice by outlawing mandatory union membership and union payments as a condition of employment.
The forced-dues monopoly contract was put in place by the UAW in 2015, more than two years after Michigan’s Right to Work protections came into effect. The lawsuit seeks refunds of all illegal dues collected under that contract.
In addition to the class action suit, two of the workers filed federal unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the UAW and their employer, STAT Emergency Medical Services. The federal charges detail the automatic dues deduction despite the lack of a check-off authorization, which violates sections of the National Labor Relations Act.
“Rather than work to earn the voluntary support of rank-and-file workers, union officials are blatantly violating longstanding federal and state law to extract dues from workers,” said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. “Whether or not a state has Right to Work protections, workers and the Foundation will continue to remain vigilant to ensure that employees’ legal rights are not ignored by Big Labor officials.”
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 more than 250 cases nationwide per year.