SPFPA union officials continued to collect dues over workers’ objections despite majority vote by employees that ended mandatory payments
Washington, DC (April 3, 2017) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, two Washington D.C. area workers have won a federal settlement from International Union of Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA) union officials. The settlement dictates that union officials pay back approximately $20,000 in illegally seized dues, with interest.
The two workers, Troy Golson and Yasir Maatoug, work as security guards in the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Washington, D.C. In November 2015, employees in their company, Coastal International Security, won a deauthorization election against the SPFPA union. A deauthorization election can be called by employees to negate the forced-unionism clause that allows union bosses to have a worker fired for refusing to pay the union dues or fees.
After the successful deauthorization vote, more than 30 Coastal employees sent union officials a dues check-off revocation letter, which legally stops the collection of forced union dues from their paychecks. However, union officials ignored some of the letters and continued seizing dues from many employees’ paychecks, erroneously claiming workers could not stop payment except in a union-determined “window period.”
Under current National Labor Relations Board law, workers who win a deauthorization election have the right to halt automatic deductions from their paychecks immediately simply by sending the union a revocation letter.
The settlement also allows for other workers to receive refunds for illegally seized dues if they can show that they revoked their dues check-off following the deauthorization election in November of 2015. Furthermore, union officials must post and e-mail a notice stating that they “will not collect dues from bargaining unit employees who have revoked their authorizations for payroll deduction of union dues or fees following the deauthorization of the union security clause.”
“This case epitomizes the lengths to which union officials will go to collect every last cent of forced dues they can, even in violation of longstanding law,” said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Even after a majority of the very workers the union claims to ‘represent’ voted to strip union officials of their forced dues powers, SPFPA union officials continued to illegally seize thousands of dollars in forced dues from them. This case shows why every worker in America should have Right to Work protections that ensure that union membership and payment of union fees are strictly voluntary.”
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 around 250 cases nationwide per year.