Employees Win $120,000 from Oklahoma Local in Beck Action

Richard Ohse and 60 other employees of the Carlon Corp. won a long-running case on Jan. 31 against Int’l Bhd. of Boilermakers Lodge 465-D in Oklahoma City . Ohse, with the help of Nat’l Right to Work Legal Def. Fdn. attorneys, filed charges with the Nat’l Labor Relations Bd. to reclaim dues that had been illegally collected by the union and used to support political activities. As a result of the NLRB’s ruling, the local, also known as Cement Workers Lodge 465-D, will have paid out a total of $120,000 in full refunds of illegally seized dues, plus interest,  to the 61 employees who were the beneficiaries of the complaint. Ohse, and the other Carlon employees have had to wait more than a decade for this ruling. The charge was first filed in 1991, but  it took several years to force the Clinton NLRB to act  on the matter.

“After all of these prosecutorial delays and the union’s stonewalling, these employees have finally been made whole,” said NRTWLDF’s Stefan Gleason. “No matter  how long union officials hold out, they cannot ultimately deny workers their fundamental rights.”

The case arose after IBB bosses violated the workers’ rights established by the U.S. Supreme Court CWA v. Beck decision. Under Beck, workers who are not protected by a Right-to-Work law may resign from formal union memberships and halt and reclaim the portion of forced union dues spent on politics and other activities unrelated to collective  bargaining. Since Okla. only passed a Right-to-Work law on Sept. 25, 2001, these employees were not protected from forced unionism.  [NRTWLDF 2/7/02; Daily Oklahoman 2/8/02]