Between October 2003 and February 2004, United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) union officials ordered employees in Southern California out on strike.  For five months employees were out of work.

Now, UFCW union bosses apparently intend to replicate that situation in Arizona and many employees have contacted the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation for information about their rights as they relate to the scheduled strike.

The situation raises serious concerns for employees who believe there is much to lose from a union-ordered strike, which is why so many are contacting the Foundation to learn how they can avoid fines and other vicious union discipline for continuing to report to work to support themselves and their families.

The fact is employees indeed have the right to rebuff union strike demands under federal labor law and Arizona’s popular Right to Work law, but it is important you read the following before you do so.

You should learn about your rights from independent sources and should not rely on what self-interested union officials tell you.   For over four decades, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation has worked in the courts to expand and protect the rights of individual employees in such situations.   It is the nation’s premier organization exclusively dedicated to providing free legal assistance to employee victims of forced unionism abuse.

Safeway and Fry’s employees should know they have the following rights:

1) You have the right to resign your membership in the union.  If you don’t support this union, you can send the union a letter resigning your membership.

2) You have the right to go to work even if the union bosses ordered a strike. Union officials can (and often do) fine actual union members who work during a strike.   So, you should seriously consider resigning BEFORE you return to work during a strike, which is the only way to avoid these union fines and discipline.  See Union Discipline and Employee Rights

3) You also have the right to revoke your dues check-off and stop allowing the union hierarchy to collect money from your paycheck every week. You can send letters to the union and your employer revoking your authorization to have union dues deducted from your paycheck.

4) If you wish to eject an unaccountable union hierarchy from your workplace, you have the right to sign a decertification petition to obtain a secret ballot election to do so. See Decertification Election

A sample letter for employees who wish to resign their union membership and revoke their dues check-off is here. NOTE: If possible, use certified mail, return receipt requested, and save copies of your letters and the return receipt to prove delivery. If you hand deliver a resignation and/or dues deduction revocation, make sure that you have a reliable witness to the delivery. In our experience, it is not uncommon for angry and dishonest union officials to pretend they did not actually receive resignations and initiate proceedings against non-striking workers anyway.

Go to About Your Legal Rights: Private Sector Employee to learn more about your rights.