Just latest in chain of charges against multiple Seattle SEIU unions, all concern roadblocks to letting workers exercise workplace rights
Seattle, WA (June 17, 2020) – Pacific Building Services employee Daniel Dalison has filed federal charges against Service Employees International Union (SEIU6) Property Services NW for violating his rights by maintaining deceiving membership forms that misinform workers about their rights. He is also charging both the union and Pacific Building Services with deducting dues illegally from his paycheck, even though he has never authorized any deductions and objected to union membership and paying union fees beyond the amount that can be required as a condition of employment.
Because Washington State has not enacted Right to Work protections for its private sector employees, they can still be forced to pay fees to a union as a condition of getting or keeping a job. However, for employees who object to formal union membership, this amount is limited by the Foundation-won CWA v. Beck Supreme Court decision to just the portion of union dues that is directly related to bargaining purposes, and cannot include union political and lobbying activities. Beck also requires that unions follow certain procedures before taking forced fees from nonmember paychecks, including providing an independent audit of the union’s expenses.
Dalison filed his charges at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with free legal aid from National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys. The charges state he was hired by Pacific Building Services in May 2020 and was given an information packet from SEIU6 the same month.
The charge states that SEIU6’s welcome packet incorrectly informed Dalison that he couldn’t exercise his Beck right to object to full union dues outside the 31-day window after his hire date. On top of that, Dalison’s charge explains that the membership form included in the packet is an illegal “dual purpose” form, which, if signed, triggers automatic dues seizures from an employee’s paycheck despite “actually say[ing] nothing about dues authorization.” Federal law provides that employers cannot deduct union dues or fees directly from employees’ paychecks unless they have affirmative consent from them, regardless of their membership status.
After receiving the information packet, Dalison sent the union letters “stating that he did not want union membership” and wished only to pay the required fees to keep his job. He also asked the union to furnish an independent audit of its expenses and a copy of the monopoly bargaining contract between it and Pacific Building Services. The charge says that the union responded with a letter claiming “he must have misunderstood his options” and that its records showed he was a member and must pay full dues.
Despite never assenting to union membership and submitting objection letters, Dalison’s charge reports that full dues were deducted from his paycheck on June 8, 2020. His charge contends that this violates his right under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) “to refrain from any or all” union activities. His charge also seeks an injunction under Section 10(j) of the NLRA to force the SEIU and employer to immediately stop the activities described in the charges while the NLRB investigates.
Earlier this year Dalison charged officials of SEIU 1199NW for violating employee rights at Swedish Medical Center, where he has also worked. Those charges related that, in addition to not allowing workers to exercise their Beck rights, SEIU 1199NW bosses ordered workers to provide photo identification any time they asked to see their own paperwork regarding membership and dues check off authorizations. Those charges are still pending at NLRB Region 19.
“Within just a few months, Seattle SEIU bosses have proved repeatedly that they will violate the rights of the workers they claim to represent just to illegally siphon dues from employee paychecks,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “NLRB Region 19, which is now knee-deep in pending employee charges revealing the brazen tactics of coercion engaged in by these union bosses, must immediately seek an injunction to protect workers from these egregious schemes.”
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.