The State of Utah’s Third Dist. Court has rejected union lawyers’ attempts to dismiss a counter suit, brought by employees represented by Nat’l Right to Work Legal Def. Fdn. attorneys, which, as a result, calls into question the constitutionality of the fundamental union privilege known as monopoly bargaining. In his ruling issued the week of April 29, Utah Judge Stephen L. Henriod allowed the employees to defend the constitutionality of Utah’s Voluntary Contributions Act (VCA), a law intending to give union members the right to withhold union dues spent for political activities. If the court refuses to uphold the VCA as constitutional, the court will consider the employees alternative argument that monopoly bargaining power–held in many locales by union officials of the Utah Public Employees’ Ass’n (UPEA) and Utah Education Association (UEA)–is unconstitutional.
Even though Utah has a highly popular and effective Right to Work law that enables nonunion employees to pay no dues whatsoever to an unwanted union, the still-intact monopoly bargaining privilege forces employees to accept the rigid terms of one size fits all union-brokered contracts: ones tending to punish the best and most productive employees. Union monopoly bargaining bars all employees, even union objectors, from individually negotiating over the terms of their own employment. And using their monopoly bargaining privilege, union officials refuse to allow non-union members any input into workplace issues that directly affect them.
NRTWLDF attorneys filed to intervene in this case on behalf of union members who oppose their unions’ politicking. NRTWLDF attorneys argue that, if union lawyers succeed in overturning the VCA as an unconstitutional interference into private union matters, then monopoly bargaining must also be declared unconstitutional for all Utah’s government employees because of its inherent infringements on their rights to free speech and association. [NRTWLDF 5/3/02]
Ohio Unionist Indicted on Pipebomb and Counterfeiting Charges
A supporter of United Steelworkers of Am. Local 169 is accused of planning to fire explosives at the AK Steel Co.’s plant in Middletown, Ohio, because the firm hired nonunion workers. Fred Frigo was indicted May 1 on charges of seeking help from others to damage the plant, whose union employees have been locked out since 1999. Frigo is a member of the United Auto Workers and worked at a Gen. Motors Corp. plant, where he reportedly “disliked” nonunion workers. Frigo told an informant that he hoped to fire a rocket at the steel plant as he drove down the road. The indictment alleges that Frigo made pipebombs with .12-gauge shotgun shells and nails. Frigo also was accused of making $13,440 in counterfeit $20 bills. [Plain Dealer (Cleveland) 5/2/02]