A California union has agreed to pay thousands of dollars to employees after labor bosses reportedly siphoned funds from their paychecks.
Nearly 60 employees refused to join Teamsters Local 848 in Long Beach, California in 2021 to avoid paying the part of the membership that goes towards political spending.
According to a complaint to the National Labor Relations Board from one of the workers, Nelson Medina, the union threatened to get him fired if he did not fully sign on.
None of those 60 employees were fired, but full membership dues were siphoned out of their paychecks against their wishes.
The union reached a settlement with the employees in February, giving reimbursements to the workers that totaled $5,650.
Private-sector employees can be forced to pay union dues as a term of employment in California, a state that has rejected right-to-work legislation. But workers are still able to opt out of union membership, which allows them to avoid funding partisan political spending. The Teamsters Union, for example, spent $3.2 million in the 2020 election — 97 percent of which went to Democrats.
Patrick Semmens, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation, which represented Medina, said that the settlement shows the Teamsters union knew they broke the law.
“Teamsters officials violated Supreme Court precedent going back decades just so they could force the rank-and-file workers they claim to ‘represent’ into funding union political dealings,” Semmens told the Washington Free Beacon. “Unfortunately, with Big Labor control of Congress on the line in November, we’re likely to see many more illegal forced-dues-for-politics violations of workers’ rights like this in the coming months.”
In the charges, Medina said that he opted out of union membership in August of 2021 so that he could pay a reduced fee. But a month later, he allegedly received a copy of a letter, which was sent from the union to his employer saying that he would be fired if he didn’t pay full union dues within a week.
According to the Free Beacon, “Unions have responded to decades of declining membership, right-to-work laws, and unfavorable court rulings with creative policies to maximize dues payments. A common tactic is to restrict the option for workers to opt-out of membership to a limited period of time, often one month a year.”