SD Union Illegally Withheld Benefits from Non-Member Employees

Responding to charges filed by an employee of the City of San Diego, the California Public Employment Relations Board (CPERB) has decided to prosecute the San Diego Municipal Employees’ Association (MEA) union for overtly discriminating against non-union members.

Enjoying free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Tanya DuLaney filed charges after the MEA union decided to withhold dental coverage from all non-union members. MEA’s actions are in violation of several California statutes that are intended to protect an employee’s right to abstain from membership and that require union officials to fairly represent an employee.

The scheme was designed to pressure employees into signing up as formal union members, thereby causing them to give up certain rights, including the ability to refrain from funding union political activities.   “The union’s practice of cutting deals with the city that intentionally hang some workers out to dry is deplorable,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “As long as union bosses are given a monopoly on representing employees in the workplace, they will continue to operate with little accountability.”

As part of the Memorandum of Understanding between the union and the city, union officials tried to withhold benefits, such as dental coverage, from all non-member employees.

With the support of Governor Gray Davis over the past four years, government union officials have seized control over much of California’s economy and workers. For example, Davis signed a law that requires all California State University (CSU) professors to pay union dues unless they are members of a state-approved religion. Under this law, state and union officials can exercise the power to pass judgment on the acceptability of the religious beliefs of CSU employees.  [NRTWLDF 6/24/02]