Exemption from prosecution for union violence.
|Exemption from anti-monopoly laws. The Clayton Act of 1914 exempts unions from anti-monopoly laws, enabling union officials to forcibly drive out independent or alternative employee bargaining groups.|
|Power to force employees to accept unwanted union representation.|
Monopoly bargaining, or “exclusive representation,” which is embedded in most of the country’s labor relations statutes, enables union officials to act as the exclusive bargaining agents of all employees at a unionized workplace, thereby depriving employees of the right to make their own employment contracts.
|Power to collect forced union dues.|
Unlike other private organizations, unions can compel individuals to support them financially. In 28 states under the NLRA (those that have not passed Right to Work laws), all states under the RLA, on “exclusive federal enclaves,” and in many states under public sector labor relations acts, employees may be forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment, even if they reject union affiliation.
|Unlimited, undisclosed electioneering.|
The Federal Election Campaign Act exempts unions from its limits on campaign contributions and expenditures, as well as some of its reporting requirements.
|Ability to strong-arm employers into negotiations.|
Unlike all other parties in the economic marketplace, union officials can compel employers to bargain with them.
|Right to trespass on an employer’s private property.|
The Norris-LaGuardia Act of 1932 (and state anti-injunction acts) give union activists immunity from injunctions against trespass on an employer’s property.
|Ability of strikers to keep jobs despite refusing to work.|
|Union-only cartels on construction projects.|
Under so-called project labor agreements, governments (local, state, or federal) award contracts for construction on major projects such as highways, airports, and stadiums exclusively to unionized firms.
|Government funding of forced unionism.|
Union groups receive upwards of $160 million annually in direct federal grants. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In 2001, the federal Department of Labor doled out $148 million for “international labor programs” overwhelmingly controlled by an AFL-CIO front group
ACTION PLAN FOR UNION WORKERS:
No employee in the United States can legally be required to be a full-dues-paying, formal union member. But in many states, an employee can be forced to pay certain union dues or be fired from his or her job.
Union members have the right to resign from formal membership at any time. However, dues deduction authorizations may limit when they can be revoked.
Employees covered by state Right to Work laws can not lawfully be required to pay any union fees to keep their jobs. But state Right to Work laws do not protect railway and airline employees and employees of private-sector contractors on some federal properties.
Because they enjoy the special privilege of exclusive representation, unions have a legal duty to represent fairly all employees in their bargaining units. Unions are legally required to represent nonmember employees the same as members, but unfortunately this duty is often breached.
If a law or bargaining agreement permits it, employees can be forced to pay certain union fees. If you don’t join the union, or resign from membership, and notify the union that you don’t want to pay full dues, the required fee must be limited to the union's proven costs of collective bargaining activities. This fee may not lawfully include things like political expenses.
Nonmembers with religious objections to supporting a union have the right to ask the union to redirect the forced dues amount to charity. Religious objectors do not have to belong to a specific church to claim this right.
A union member who wants to work during a strike should resign from union membership BEFORE going to work. If the resignation is mailed, the employee should not work until the day after the resignation is postmarked. Otherwise, the employee could be fined by the union. If you are already a nonmember, you can work at will during a strike and not be lawfully fined.
Many employees have a legal right to petition for an election to oust an unwanted union from their workplace or to eliminate the union’s ability to collect forced fees. You should contact us if you want to do this.
Your best source for information about your Right to Work rights is this web site. Foundation attorneys have represented many employees like you, and have taken several cases all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to protect workers’ rights.
If, after reviewing the information available through the links below, you are still unclear about your rights, or believe that you need legal aid because union officials have violated these rights (as they frequently do), call us at 800-336-3600 or send us an e-mail here.