NLRB Charge: Despite Right to Work law, union bosses coerced worker into becoming a union member and then blocked attempts to cut off dues payments
Milwaukee, WI (March 3, 2020) – With free legal aid from National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys, an employee at a Milwaukee factory has filed federal charges against Teamsters “General” Local Union No. 200 for violating his rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and Wisconsin’s Right to Work law.
Tyler Lewis, employed by Snap-on Logistics Company, filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) after union officials told him that he must become a union member and pay membership dues as a condition of employment in violation of longstanding federal law.
Teamsters union officials further refused to allow Lewis to stop union dues from being seized from his paycheck even after he learned of his rights and resigned his union membership in September 2019. Moreover, union officials continue to deduct dues from his paycheck and refuse to refund Lewis any of the dues unlawfully seized from him.
Forcing workers to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment is prohibited under Wisconsin’s Right to Work law, which went into effect in March 2015. However, union officials continued to accept and retain union dues seized from Lewis because they claimed he could only cut off union dues deductions during a narrow union-created “window period.” Even as they made that claim, they failed to provide Lewis with specific dates when his request would be accepted under their rules.
As his charge details, the union monopoly bargaining agreement in Lewis’ workplace, which was signed after the state Right to Work law went into effect, contained language prohibited by the Right to Work law that workers must pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. Moreover, even if the agreement was actually in place prior to the law’s effective date, Lewis’ Foundation-provided attorneys state in the filing that the passage of the Right to Work law invalidated the union’s claim that Lewis’ right to stop dues payments was limited to a brief union window period.
“Once again, Teamsters union bosses are using coercive tactics to force workers they claim to ‘represent’ to pay union dues and fees against their wishes,” said National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “Wisconsin’s Right to Work law should mean union membership and dues payment are strictly voluntary, but rather than respect workers’ rights and work to win their uncoerced support, union bosses are again attempting to trap workers in forced dues in violation of federal law.”
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.