Minn. worker files complaint against AFSCME

Michael P. Tremoglie Feb. 14, 2012, 7:22am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (Legal Newsline) -- A switchboard operator has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board against the local American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, alleging violations of labor laws.

Rebecca Holt, who works for Regions Hospital in St. Paul, filed the complaint filed the charges with the NLRB Region 18 office in Minneapolis claiming that she was threatened by Local 722 with being fired for exercising her right to refrain from full-dues-paying union membership AFSCME officials demanded that Regions fire her for doing so.

AFSCME officials demanded Holt sign an "Authorization of Payroll Deduction" form. This would authorize AFSCME to deduct the full amount of union dues from her paycheck.

But, according to the National Right to Work Foundation (NRWF), which is providing free legal assistance to Holt, she requested information about her rights, including her right to refrain from full-dues-paying union membership.

Rather than comply with the law and inform Holt of her rights, according to NRWF, union officials contacted Regions to initiated procedures to have her terminated from her job. Furthermore, one union official, said NRWF, attempted to coerce Holt to the authorization while at her office.

Minnesota does not have a Right to Work law. Employees can be forced to pay a part of union dues used for bargaining as a condition of employment. However, union officials cannot demand formal union membership to keep a job. This was established in a 1954 Supreme Court case Radio Officers Union v. NLRB.

"Rebecca Holt is taking a courageous stand against the union officials' campaign of intimidation and thuggery," said Mark Mix, President of NRWF. "AFSCME union bosses are blatantly violating the law by attempting to have an employee fired for inquiring about her constitutional rights and for refusing to pay for the union's political agenda.

"Ultimately, Minnesota desperately needs a Right to Work law to protect workers from forced unionism abuses like this in the future."

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