With their original lawsuit failing to deter what they call illegal union dues, five part-time Rhode Island police officers Monday filed a preliminary injunction to stop the forced payments.
The lawsuit was first filed in July against the town of Westerly and Local 503 of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers. It is not uncommon for workers to be forced to pay union dues when they are subject to their workplace labor agreement. The only agreement in place for Westerly police officers, however, applied to and was voted on by full-time police officers.
At the moment the original lawsuit is pending with the U.S. District Court. The due deductions amounted to $5 an hour from every paycheck. The National Right to Work Foundation (NRTW) is helping to represent the part-time officers.
“The judge hearing this case should quickly grant this injunction to at least provide some relief to these hardworking public servants who are currently illegally forced to pay union fees,” NRTW president Mark Mix said in a statement. “Stopping the confiscation of parts of their paychecks would be an important step toward victory.”
Essentially the union and town just decided the part-time police officers had to pay union dues, regardless. Since none of them belonged to the union or were subjected to any labor agreement, they could not receive benefits, protections or even talk at union meetings. They were just forced to subsidize its activities.
The lawsuit also alleges officer Darrell Koza was fired after he reported the forced union dues him and the other part-time officers were paying. Additionally, the lawsuit alleges, hostility from the full-time officers and union officials grew after the part-time police officers began speaking out.
Local 503 did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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