Workers have legal options to hold union officials accountable for backing a President who moved to destroy their jobs on day one
From the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation website:
Washington, DC (January 26, 2021) – Yesterday, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation announced an offer of free legal aid to workers whose economic opportunities have been harmed by the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline. The offer comes after President Biden, elected with the backing of union bosses using workers’ dues money, immediately moved to cancel the project and the jobs it would have provided.
Federal law gives short shrift to workers who labor under union compulsion, but there are ways to hold union officials accountable when they push positions detrimental to the interests of the rank-and-file. The limited legal options available to workers do include cutting off union financial support and holding a decertification election to vote union officials out of their workplace.
The now cancelled Keystone XL Pipeline project reportedly would have meant the hiring of over 8,000 workers subject to union monopoly representation, who would have been paid an estimated $900 million in wages in 2021 alone. James T. Callahan, the top official at the International Union of Operating Engineers (IOUE) even admitted the project would have been good for the unionized workers, calling it “welcome news and irreplaceable as the U.S. continues our economic recovery.”
Despite the benefits the pipeline would provide for rank-and-file workers, IOUE officials endorsed Joe Biden for president and spent workers’ dues money backing his election despite his promise to eliminate the pipeline project as part of his pledge during his campaign “to end fossil fuel.” Following through on his threat, President Biden revoked the pipeline’s permits on his first day in office, thereby eliminating the jobs and wages that would have been created had the project moved forward.
The National Right to Work Foundation website (www.nrtw.org) contains detailed information on how workers can exercise their rights to cut off financial support for union officials’ activities that directly resulted in the elimination of their jobs and economic opportunities.
In the 27 states across the country with Right to Work protections that make union membership and financial support strictly voluntary, union bosses cannot force workers to pay any dues to keep their job. Workers in Right to Work states, including South Dakota and Nebraska, which would have directly benefitted from the project, can find information on how to resign their union membership and stop all union payments here.
In states that have yet to pass a Right to Work law, like Montana, another state that would have benefitted from investments in the Keystone XL Pipeline, although workers can be required to pay some union fees, they cannot be forced to fund union political activities. Workers in states without Right to Work protections can learn how to exercise their right to cut off the portion of dues used for union political activities here.
Workers in every state also have the legal right to remove a union from their workplace and strip union officials of their monopoly bargaining power. Workers can learn more about their right to hold a decertification election to vote out a union here.
Additionally workers should know that if they would like assistance in exercising any of these rights, they can contact the Foundation for free legal aid through the Free Legal Aid Request Form or by calling the Foundation toll free at 1-800-336-3600.
“Workers should not be forced to financially support union bosses who use workers’ money to back candidates willing to destroy their jobs with the stroke of a pen,” commented National Right to Work Foundation president Mark Mix. “Although union officials want to keep workers in the dark about these rights, workers deserve to know the legal options they have to hold union bosses accountable for pushing an agenda that actively undermines the employment opportunities of rank-and-file workers.”
If you have questions about whether union officials are violating your rights, contact the Foundation for free help.
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