Complaint filed against union for demanding dues

Michael P. Tremoglie Aug. 2, 2012, 7:16pm


CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - An employee of a Macy's has filed a federal complaint against a union alleging labor law violations.

The union is allegedly withholding union dues despite the employees rejecting union membership. Kathi Szkolny filed the charge with the National Labor Relations Board against the Chicago and Midwest Regional Joint Board, Workers United Local 2745 union July 30. She is receiving free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

Union officials allegedly misinformed workers that they must pay full union dues to keep their jobs. They did not inform workers of their right under the Supreme Court precedent in Communication Workers v. Beck to pay only that portion of the dues for activities not related to bargaining, she claims.

The Court held in Beck that workers who are nonunion cannot be forced to pay for union activities such as politics and political lobbying. Union officials are also required to provide an audited financial disclosure of union expenditures to show how their dues are being spent.

Szkolny exercised her right to refrain from formal union membership. But she is still forced to pay part of forced union dues to keep her job, she says. The union has, according to Szkolny, refused to provide the audit notice. Instead, union officials are demanding that Szkolny pay nearly $1,000 in full union dues by a certain date or be fired from her job, she says.

"Workers United Local 2745 union officials are intimidating workers and keeping workers in the dark about their rights in order to keep their forced-dues gravy train going," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Illinois desperately needs a Right to Work law to protect workers from unscrupulous union bosses."

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