FLINT, Mich. (November 5, 2001) – Hundreds of Brighton Interior Systems employees who union officials coerced into joining the United Auto Workers (UAW) union have won a settlement in an unfair labor practice case pending against the union that requires the revocation of all illegally obtained membership and dues deduction authorization cards.
The settlement of federal class-action charges, filed by Brighton employee Erik Daly with the National Labor Relations Board against UAW Local 599 and its International union parent, stipulates that all dues checkoff authorization/membership cards obtained at Brighton since August 5, 2001 are invalid. The union must start over, this time properly notifying employees of their rights and allowing them to make a voluntary decision about whether or not to join the union.
“This settlement forces UAW officers to account for their systematic bullying of Brighton workers,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which negotiated the settlement on behalf of the Brighton employees.
In violation of the Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court decision Communications Workers v. Beck, UAW officials told employees they must join the union or “join the unemployment line.” Under Beck, union officials may not compel workers to become union members, or pay for politics and other activities unrelated to collective bargaining activities, under the threat of being fired from their jobs.
The original charges filed by Daly in August 2001 stated that the UAW “engaged in a campaign of misrepresentations, coercions, and omissions” such that “not a single employee in this bargaining unit can be considered to be a voluntary member.”
The settlement requires union officials to post notices informing all Brighton employees of their rights under Beck to refrain from union membership and the payment of full dues. The union’s notices state that “WE WILL NOT threaten employees of Brighton Interior Systems that they will be discharged” for not joining the union.
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.