A Yale University union has found itself in the spotlight over allegedly violating federal law by not telling nonunion workers where it’s spending cash it forced them to pay, according to a legal complaint announced Friday.
Yale library employees Christopher Fiorillo and Gennifer Baker are alleging Unite Here Local 34 failed to follow federal law by not disclosing where it spent mandatory fees. The employees are being represented by the worker choice advocacy group, the National Right to Work Foundation (NRTW).
“It’s bad enough that Fiorillo and Baker can be forced to pay a fee to Local 34 to keep their jobs,” NRTW President Mark Mix said in a statement. “But it adds insult to injury when union bosses cannot even comply with longstanding Supreme Court precedent before seizing forced dues from nonmember employees.”
Nationally unions cannot force a person to join them. In half of all states, unions can force nonunion members to pay fees. The union just has to be voted in as the exclusive representative of a workplace. Unlike the usual union due payment, the fee cannot be spent on activities, like politics, outside of representation costs.
“Of course, if Connecticut had a Right to Work law, these charges would never have had to be filed in the first place because union dues would be completely voluntary,” Mix also noted “That’s why it is long past time for Connecticut workers to have Right to Work protections so that no worker can ever be forced to pay dues or fees just to get or keep a job.”
Connecticut is among the 25 states without a right-to-work law. The policy bans forced union dues or fees as a condition of employment. No state can forced a person to join a union but without the policy unions can force nonmembers to the fee.
The 1988 case Beck v. Communication Workers of America established that unions must disclose where they spend nonmember fees on. That case also involved a lawsuit brought by NRTW lawyers. The charges will now be investigated by the regional office for the National Labor Relations Board.
Local 34 did not respond to a request for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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