As Right to Work repeal looms, Milford, Michigan, Kroger employee challenges UFCW union membership form designed to coerce dues deductions

Milford, MI (May 3, 2023) – Michigan Kroger employee Roger Cornett recently filed a federal unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 876. Cornett is receiving free legal aid from National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys.

On April 26, Kroger employee Roger Cornett charged UFCW union officials with illegally seizing union dues from his paycheck. According to his charge, Cornett was presented with a “union membership application” form to complete during an employee orientation.

The form indicated that signing it would authorize both union membership and dues deductions. Cornett’s charge says the form violates federal labor law because of its “dual purpose” nature, as the law requires any authorization for union dues deductions to be voluntary and separate from a union membership application.

Cornett attempted to resign his union membership and revoke his dues deduction authorization around March 8. He successfully resigned his membership, but the union refused to stop deducting dues from Cornett’s paycheck, alleging that Cornett could only exercise his right to stop dues deductions within a tiny “window period” enforced by union officials.

Cornett’s charge comes as Michigan legislators have decided to repeal Michigan’s popular Right to Work law, which prohibits union officials from forcing workers to join or pay dues to a union to get or keep a job. Once the repeal becomes effective, Michigan union officials will again be able to get workers fired for refusal to pay union fees.

The Foundation published a legal notice to Michigan workers, stating “after the repeal statute takes effect, it will be legal under Michigan law for private-sector employers and unions to enter into agreements that compel workers to pay fees to unions as a condition of employment.” The notice also informs Michigan Workers of their legal options after the repeal of Right to Work.

“Union boss pressures will only increase as the repeal of Right to Work nears. Foundation staff attorneys will continue to assist Mr. Cornett in navigating his case,” states Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. “In less than a year, Michigan union bosses will once again have the power to demand workers be terminated merely for refusing to support the union’s agenda with their hard-earned money.”

“The Michigan legislature and Governor Whitmer, both of whom genuflect to union boss lobbyists, made a huge mistake in repealing the Right to Work law previously protecting individual workers. Numerous polls have shown Michiganders’ overwhelming support for the Right to Work law, and yet the Michigan Legislature chose to ignore the will of the people and the rights of workers,” continued Mix. “However, even as the demise of the Right to Work law in Michigan looms, Michigan workers can still reach out to National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys to learn what rights they have to oppose union coercion, and to request help in exercising those rights.”

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.

Posted on May 3, 2023 in News Releases