Union bosses continue to abuse workers’ rights by simply ignoring the law. National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys are helping workers who were unwilling to continue union membership during a strike to recoup a fine of almost $1 million against Local 851 of the International Association of Machinists.
Cindy Wojdyla Cain has the story in the heraldnews.suntimes.
Months after a machinists strike at the Caterpillar plant in Joliet ended, internal union strife lingers.
About 780 members of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 851 were on strike from May 1 through Aug. 17 last year. A union tribunal met in November to disciple about 100 workers who crossed the picket line. They were fined and had to give up their $3,100 contract signing bonuses.
The Springfield, Va.-based National Right to Work Foundation, which says it offers free legal aid to employees whose rights have been violated, has jumped to those workers’ defense.
With the assistance of the foundation, 24 workers filed charges in March against Local 851 with the National Labor Relations Board. Last week, 15 more workers filed similar charges, claiming that the union violated their rights when it levied “retaliatory strike fines” against them.
Foundation spokesman Anthony Riedel said a partial list that he obtained shows workers who crossed the picket line were fined a total of at least $900,000.
Riedel said the NLRB charges stem from the workers’ claim they were never informed of their right to not join the union. He said they were illegally told that union membership was mandatory as a condition of their employment.