MGM Casino, Union Face Federal Charges

MGM Casino, Local Union Face Federal Charges for Playing Fast and Loose with Worker’s Rights

From the National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation:

Detroit, MI (January 6, 2015) – An area MGM Grand Detroit casino employee has filed federal charges against a local security guard union and the casino for blocking her from exercising her rights guaranteed under Michigan’s Right to Work law.

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With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, Johnnie Cullens of Detroit filed the unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

On November 18, Cullens, an MGM Grand Detroit employee since 2001, delivered a letter to her employer and the Security, Police, and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA) Local 1111 union notifying them that she was resigning her union membership and revoking her union dues deduction authorization – a document used by union officials to collect dues from workers’ paychecks. She also sent the letters by certified mail to the union on November 21.

Because the contract between the SPFPA Local 1111 union and MGM Grand Detroit has expired, Michigan’s 2012 Right to Work law now applies to Cullens and her coworkers. Under Michigan’s private-sector Right to Work law, no worker can be required to join or pay money to a union. Under federal labor law, employees can revoke their dues deduction authorizations once a contract ends.

Even though the company acknowledged Cullens’ union membership resignation, MGM Grand Detroit has begun to confiscate a so-called “security fee” from her paychecks, apparently at SPFPA Local 1111 union officials’ behest. Cullens’ charge against the union alleges that the union has accepted the unlawfully deducted fee.

Since Michigan passed Right to Work protections for workers in 2012, National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys have assisted numerous public and private sector workers in exercising their rights under the state laws.

“Forced-dues hungry union officials are stonewalling workers’ attempts to exercise their statutory rights under Michigan’s Right to Work laws,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “This latest case underscores once again how making union affiliation and dues payments completely voluntary empowers workers whose rights are violated by forced unionism.”