New York Local Settles Beck Action

Responding to  pressure brought by Nat’l Right to Work Legal Def. Fdn. attorneys, the Nat’l Labor Relations Bd. forced the Service Employees Int’l Union Local 200 Feb. 7 into a settlement  of unfair labor practice charges brought by employees  of the Marsellus Casket Co.  The case was filed by NRTWLDF attorneys for three employees, Mark L. Miller, Scott Bayer, and David Sprague. The Syracuse, N.Y., based local refused their resignations and forced them to continue to pay full union dues, including dues used for political,  ideological, or other non-representational purposes.

Local 200 must refund the three employees’ dues and fees that were used for non-representational purposes. The settlement also forces the union to post a notice alerting workers and  Marsellus Casket employees of their right to refrain from formal union membership and the payment of full union dues.

“The union has finally been forced to pay a price for its illegal practice of fleecing employees for political cash,” said NRTWLDF’s Stefan Gleason.

As part of the settlement, Local 200 bosses must also notify objecting workers what percentage of their dues is being used to fund non-representational activities, including political activities. Under law, an employee may resign from formal union membership, pay a reduced fee, and further challenge the veracity of the union’s figures.

The case arose after Local 200 bosses violated the workers’ rights established by the U.S. Supreme Court CWA v. Beck decision. Under Beck, workers may halt and reclaim forced union dues spent  on politics and other activities unrelated to collective bargaining. [NRTWLDF 2/7/02]