NY Officials Forced to Refund Illegal Dues after Violating Federal Settlement

Responding to charges filed by attorneys with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has forced Local 200 of the Service Employees Intl Union to refund illegally seized union dues from employees of the Marsellus Casket Company.

This is the second time the NLRB has issued a formal complaint against SEIU Local 200 in the past year. Under the NLRB’s original settlement, issued in November, SEIU officials were ordered to refund the employees’ dues and fees that were used for non-representational purposes.  Union officials disregarded the agreement and continued illegally seizing workers’ dues to pay for union politics. As part of the second settlement, the NLRB has also mandated the union must post a notice alerting workers and employees of the Marsellus Casket Company of their right to refrain from formal union membership and the payment of full union dues.

The settlement also requires SEIU union officials to 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 was originally filed in July 2001 by Foundation attorneys for three company employees, Mark L. Miller, Scott Bayer, and David Sprague. SEIU officials violated the workersÆ rights established by the U.S. Supreme Court Communications Workers v. Beck decision. Under Beck, a case that Foundation attorneys argued and won, workers may halt and reclaim forced union dues spent on politics and other activities unrelated to collective bargaining. [NRTWLDF]