SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) -- An employee for a Seattle nonprofit has filed a complaint against the Service Employees International Union with the National Labor Relations Board.
Stephanie Kalfayan alleges SEIU Local 925, Seattle, is violating her rights.
Kalfayan, an employee of the Society of Counsel Representing Accused Persons, filed the charges March 16. Kalfayan resigned from formal union membership in the union. As such, she is not compelled to pay full union dues.
However, because the state of Washington does not have state Right to Work protections for its workers, Kalfayan must pay the amount of dues required by the SEIU for negotiating a contract. Any amount in excess of this is waived.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the 1988 case of the Communications Workers of America v. Beck, that unions cannot compel nonmembers to pay full union dues. Furthermore, union officials must furnish financial disclosure statements of union expenditures to workers who refrain from union membership.
However, SEIU Local 925 officials demanded Kalfayan sign a union dues authorization form - a document used by union officials to deduct union dues from workers' paychecks.
"SEIU Local 925 officials are blatantly violating the rights of workers who have exercised their right to refrain from full-dues-paying union membership," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which is providing legal assistance to Kalfayan. "Forced unionism abuses such as this shows that Washington desperately needs a Right to Work law making union affiliation completely voluntary."
Twenty-three states have Right to Work protections for its workers. Recent public polling shows that 80 percent of Americans and 80 percent of union members support the Right to Work principle of voluntary unionism.
Complaints by employees against the SEIU have been filed with the NLRB during the past few months by workers in Florida, Minnesota, California and Rhode Island.