Candy Union Sours Employee, Unfair Labor Practice Charges Filed


From the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation:

Local Confectioner Worker Files Federal Charges Challenging Union Officials’ Forced-Dues Sweetheart Deal with Employer

Candy company worker suspended without pay for trying to exercise rights

Oakdale, CA (November 7, 2014) – A Modesto-area Sconza Candy Company employee has filed federal charges against a local bakers union and her employer for a litany of rights violations.

With the help of National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Sconza employee Athena Manning filed the unfair labor practice charges Wednesday with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Manning charges that Sconza management and Bakers Union Local 125 officials failed to notify her of her rights to refrain from full-dues-paying union membership. In May, company and union officials also actively misled her about her obligations to the union, claiming that joining the union and paying full dues were required as a condition of employment.

Because California does not have Right to Work protections for workers, workers can be required to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. However, workers also have the right to refrain from formal union membership and paying for union boss politics and many other activities. Under federal labor case law, union officials must also provide workers with an independently-audited financial breakdown of all forced-dues union expenditures.

Even though union officials never provided Manning with information about her rights, she was nonetheless suspended without pay from her job in June for failing to join and pay dues to the union.

In September, Local 125 union officials gave Manning a breakdown of union expenditures that failed to comply with federal disclosure requirements.

“Union and company officials actively misled and then punished this worker for exercising her rights, all in order to collect more forced dues cash for the union bosses’ coffers,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Independent-minded workers will continue to face similar schemes until California passes a Right to Work law, which would ensure that union membership and dues payment are completely voluntary.”