After the Supreme Court decision in Janus v AFSCME it seemed as if the new rules were clear. Labor unions, particularly in the public sector, were not supposed to be able to forcibly collect dues from non-members and couldn’t make union membership a condition for employment. But not every union has gotten the message. Or more to the point, they know full well that they aren’t allowed to do this but are looking for loopholes to get around the ruling.
That appears to be the case with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 13 in Pennsylvania. After the Janus decision was handed down, at least one of their members turned in his resignation from the union. Easy as pie, right? Well… it turns out that it’s not. The union said they received his request but they weren’t going to accept it. (Free Beacon)
A pair of healthcare workers in the Northeast have filed lawsuits alleging that labor leaders have blocked them from resigning even after the Supreme Court ruled that mandatory public sector membership is unconstitutional.
William Neely, a Pennsylvania-based psychiatric aide, has accused American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 13 of refusing to honor his resignation. Neely was a dues paying member of the organization for 15 years before requesting to cut ties in July, shortly after the Supreme Court ruled that government agencies could no longer require paying union fees as a condition of employment. The union, according to the suit, has continued to deduct from Neely’s paychecks because its contract does not honor resignation until June 2019.
A nurse practitioner named Cheryl Spano Lonis ran into the same brick wall in Connecticut when she tried to resign from Service Employees International Union District 1199 New England and stop paying dues. They simply refused to accept the resignation and kept withholding her money. The employees tried going directly to their employers to ask them to cease the withholdings but were informed that management was contractually obligated to continue.
Are these labor unions we’re talking about here or the mafia? You’re not even allowed to quit? Sure, they may have put that clause into their standard contracts before the Janus decision, but why would any of the workers bat an eye at it when there was no option to keep working without being a member?
For workers in these public sector unions, it must be like trying to fight a zombie. Every time you think you’ve finally got them beaten down they rise back up from the grave and continue picking your pockets. Sadly, these are far from the only cases where this is happening. You may recall that back in September, John wrote about the case of William Hough, a California man who works at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (SCTA). Following the court decision, the local chapter of the SEIU kept right on collecting agency fees from Hough’s paychecks along with thousands of other non-member workers.
He wound up launching a class action suit on behalf of more than 5,000 employees but that’s still tied up in court. In Hough’s case, however, they’re not just asking for the cessation of dues collection, but a refund of all the dues collected since the court decision came down. If the SEIU has to pony up that kind of money they might start to get the message and knock off these loophole attempts to keep taking money out of non-members paychecks or refusing to let the resign. At least we can hope so, anyway.