Previous federal labor board case won $26,000 in refunds of forced dues seized from workers despite Michigan Right to Work law making union membership and payments voluntary
Flint, MI (May 21, 2020) – A Genesee County judge approved a settlement giving more financial compensation to 263 EMTs, paramedics, wheelchair drivers and dispatchers to conclude a class action lawsuit filed by National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys for two workers against United Auto Workers Local 708 (UAW) and their employer.
The settlement grants named plaintiffs Skyler Korinek and Donald McCarty and 261 other employees of STAT Emergency Medical Services a total of $31,000 in damages in a lawsuit challenging the union and company’s violation of Michigan’s Right to Work law. Under the settlement, the UAW will pay $12,500 and STAT will pay the balance. Those damages are in addition to $26,000 UAW officials were required to refund to conclude another case filed by Korinek and McCarty with Foundation legal aid.
In the state class-action lawsuit, Foundation staff attorneys argued UAW and STAT violated Michigan’s Right to Work law by requiring employees to become UAW members and financially support the UAW as a condition of employment.
The $31,000 settlement is in addition to an earlier National Labor Relations Board settlement granting Korinek, McCarty and 168 other emergency workers $26,000 in refunds from the UAW. That settlement occurred in April last year after Foundation staff attorneys filed unfair labor practice charges for the two against the UAW and STAT for deducting union dues from the workers’ paychecks without authorization.
STAT and UAW officials entered into a monopoly bargaining agreement on September 3, 2015, that contained a so-called “union security” agreement, which required STAT employees to join and fund the UAW or lose their jobs. At that time Michigan’s Right to Work law, which protects workers from having to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment, had already been in effect for more than two years.
As part of the settlement approved Monday, UAW officials and STAT agreed not to include a so-called “union security” agreement that requires workers to join or financially support the UAW in any union contract for as long as Michigan’s Right to Work law is in effect.
“Enforcing Right to Work laws in states like Michigan is a crucial part of the Foundation’s legal aid program, one that is necessary because union bosses repeatedly demonstrate that they will violate workers’ rights to force them to pay union dues,” said National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “In Michigan, union bosses have been repeatedly caught red-handed violating workers’ protections against requirements that they subsidize union activities.”
Since Michigan passed its Right to Work law, which became effective in March 2013, Foundation staff attorneys have brought more than 120 cases for Michigan workers subjected to coercive union boss tactics.
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.