Labor Board charge comes as federal investigation into racketeering and embezzlement within UAW reaches 15 indictments
Evart, MI (September 22, 2020) – An employee of auto parts manufacturer Ventra Evart LLC has just filed federal unfair labor practice charges against the United Auto Workers (UAW) union local at her workplace, charging that union officials illegally ignored her request to cut off dues deductions from her paycheck and are still seizing money from her. Her charges were filed with Region 7 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Detroit with free legal aid from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.
The employee, Meagan Holmes, works as an inspector for Ventra Evart. Her charge states that in May of this year she submitted to UAW bosses a letter resigning her union membership and requesting to end dues deductions. However, according to her filing, union officials never responded and continue to deduct full union dues out of her paycheck.
Holmes’ charge argues that this violates her rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the federal statute which guarantees private sector workers the “right to refrain from any or all” union activities. The NLRB is the federal agency charged with enforcing the NLRA. Additionally, Michigan enacted Right to Work protections for its public and private sector workers in 2013, which ensure that no Wolverine State worker can be forced to subsidize a union hierarchy as a condition of getting or keeping a job.
The charge comes as a years-long federal probe into embezzlement and racketeering within the UAW’s top level continues to rack up convictions. In April, former UAW president Gary Jones pleaded guilty to pilfering more than $1 million in dues money paid by rank-and-file workers. The corruption count went up to 15 late last month after Jones’ predecessor, Dennis Williams, was indicted by federal prosecutors. He is expected to plead guilty as well. The workers’ money stolen in the scandal was spent on personal luxuries like opulent golf vacations, high-end liquor, wine and cigars, and lavish steak dinners, according to federal documents.
Another Michigan worker under UAW union officials’ bargaining power who recently obtained free legal aid from the Foundation in defending his rights is Lloyd Stoner, an employee at General Motors’ Dearborn, MI, plant. Stoner won a unanimous ruling from a three-member panel of the NLRB in Washington, D.C., last year, which ordered UAW honchos to return to him dues they had seized even after he had validly resigned his membership and revoked his dues checkoff.
“Ms. Holmes’ charge clearly demonstrates that UAW officials’ inclination to break the law is not just limited to the top bosses caught red-handed in the federal investigation,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “Now more than ever, all workers under the UAW’s bargaining regime need to have the power to hold union officials accountable by being able to cut off all union dues or fees.”
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.