Chula Vista, Calif. (September 24, 2002) — With the help of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, two employees of Raytheon Technical Services Company filed charges against union officials for refusing to honor their resignations from the union, threatening them with internal union “disciplinary” charges, and continuing to illegally charge full union dues, including dues spent for politics.
The employees, Brent Bull and Michael Adams, filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the Electronic and Space Technicians (EST) Local 1553 and its affiliate, the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters (SWRCC). The workers claim union officials are demanding they pay full union dues, and face disciplinary fines, to punish them for resigning their membership and participating in efforts to decertify the union.
“This is a clear case of union bosses refusing to respect the rights of the workers they claim to represent,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “No one should be forced to pay compulsory dues to a union, especially when its officials egregiously abuse that federally granted special privilege.”
The charges also allege that union officials never informed any of the workers at the facility of their rights to refrain from union membership. As part of the complaint, Adams and Bull want EST Local 1553 to return all of the money that is being illegally seized and used for activities unrelated to collective bargaining, including union organizing and political activities. They also want the union to drop its “disciplinary” charges.
“When union bosses will not tell workers what their rights are, it is clear they have something to hide,” said Gleason.
EST and SWRCC union officials’ actions violated the workers’ rights established by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Pattern Makers v. NLRB decision. Under Pattern Makers, unions must specifically inform employees of their right to refrain from formal, full dues-paying union membership before seizing any forced union dues.
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.