Worker says union guilty of Beck, Hudson violations

By Michael P. Tremoglie | Aug 17, 2012

GOSHEN, Ind. (Legal Newsline) -- An employee of the Eagle Ready Mix concrete company filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board against a local Teamster union for violating federal labor laws.

Edward Chupp of Goshen filed the charge Aug. 1 with the National Labor Relations Board, Region 25, in Indianapolis.

Chupp informed the Chauffeurs, Teamsters and Helpers Union Local 364 in May that he was exercising his "Beck" right - as stated in the Supreme Court case Communication Workers of America v Beck - to refrain from formal, full-dues-paying union membership. As a nonunion worker Chupp can pay a reduced rate of dues which correlate to the amount for bargaining activities only. But the union has continued to deduct the full amount of dues.

The complaint filed by Chupp also states several other grievances.

He alleged that the union allegedly never informed workers of their Beck rights. He claims the union officials refuse to provide him with the financial disclosure in violation of the rights articulated in the court cases Teachers Local v. Hudson, (1986) and Abrams v. Communications Workers (1995).

He also claims he has not received the independent audit financial statements from the union. Chupp also objects to certain expenses the union is claiming as 100 percent allocated to the union because he has no way of assessing if these should be allocated to non-union workers.

Although the state of Indiana recently enacted a right-to-work law which would permit Chupp not to pay any union dues, the law was enacted after the contract between the union and Eagle Ready Mix was effective. Therefore the contract provisions remain in effect until the contract expires at which time the right-to-work law will be in force. Until then Chupp still must pay a portion of union dues to keep his job until a new contract goes into effect.

"Teamster union officials are extracting full union dues from workers who want to exercise their rights to refrain from formal union membership," said Patrick Semmens, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation, which provided free legal assistance to Mr. Chupp. "This illegal action must stop."

Bill Groth, of the Indianapolis law firm representing the union declined to comment citing the case was in litigation.

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