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(Foundation Action) SEIU Must Return $5,000,000 in Illegally Seized Dues

(Foundation Action) SEIU Must Return $5,000,000 in Illegally Seized Dues

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03/03/2011

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2
Foundation
Action
January/February 2003
LOS ANGELES, Calif.  NationalRight to Work Legal DefenseFoundation attorneys have forced offi-cials of one of the most militantCalifornia unions to return an estimated$5 million in union dues illegally seizedfrom 60,000 non-union home careproviders. The refunds include moniesspent for activities unrelated to collectivebargaining, such as political activism.The settlement agreement brings toa close a suit brought by Foundationattorneys on behalf of Carla West andother non-union home care providerswho work in Los Angeles County. Afterthe state government imposed a noveland constitutionally suspect unioniza-tion scheme upon them, the employeesfiled the class-action case in U.S.District Court for the Central Districtof California against the AFL-CIO-affiliated Service EmployeesInternational Union (SEIU) Local434B, the Personal Assistance ServicesCouncil (PASC) of Los AngelesCounty, and Attorney General BillLockyer.
Court fails to overturnnew union scheme
Despite the large settlement, this isonly a partial victory for the non-unionhome care providers. The court recent-ly dismissed arguments that the U.S.Constitution does not allow Local434B and PASC to impose union affili-ation on home care workers who donot desire union representation
andin many cases had never even heard of the union.Unfortunately, the court did notagree with Foundation attorneys
argu-ments on the main issue in the case:whether independent home careproviders who perform servicesthrough a public assistance programcan be declared
public employees
forcollective bargaining purposes
only
.
SEIU Must Return $5,000,000 In Illegally Seized Dues
Settlement ends Golden State battle to protect 60,000 home care providers 
Rev. Fred Fowler
Chairman, Board of Trustees
Reed Larson
President 
Mark Mix
Executive Vice President 
Stefan Gleason
Vice President and Editor in Chief 
Ray LaJeunesse, Jr.
Vice President, Legal Director 
Alicia Auerswald
Vice President 
Virginia Smith
Secretary
The Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employeeswhose human or civil rights have been violated by abuses of compulsory unionism. All contributionsto the Foundation are tax deductible under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Distributed by the
National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Inc.
8001 Braddock Road, Springfield, Virginia 22160www.nrtw.org
1-800-336-3600
Foundation
Action
The legislature created this condi-tion despite the fact that home careworkers do not resemble traditionalpublic employees
governmentalbodies have no involvement in theproviders
hiring, firing, work sched-ules, workplace safety, and employmentdisputes.Although they are reimbursedthrough the state, the home careproviders are independently hired,fired, and supervised by individualrecipients of home care. Many of theseindependent contractors who contactedthe Foundation about the situation hadnever even heard of the union until itbegan automatically seizing dues out of their paychecks.
Even though the union must nowcough up upwards of $5 million in ille-gally seized dues, the state of Californiashould not have forced independenthome care workers into union collec-tives in the first place,
said Mark Mix,Executive Vice President of theNational Right to Work Foundation.
Years ago, union operatives set theirsights on California
s home care sub-sidy program as a major cash cow. NowCalifornia taxpayers must pay tens of millions of dollars that are launderedthrough the program and dumped intounion coffers.
AFL-CIO eyes home caredollars nationwide
The AFL-CIO has called the forcedunionization of the Los Angeles Countyhome care providers organized labor
ssingle largest organizing victory ever.Sacramento and San Diego Countiesand, more recently, Oregon andWashington State, have since adoptedvirtually identical schemes.
Union chiefs want to use thislucrative new scheme to raise money atthe expense of taxpayers, disabled citi-zens, and especially those who care forthem,
said Mix.
Looking toward thefuture, Foundation attorneys intend topursue other opportunities to persuadethe courts to toss out this emergingunion scheme as unconstitutional.
 
January/February 2003
Foundation
Action
3
Union power expandedunder veil of ‘organizing’
As a result of the Supreme Court
srefusal to hear the
Mulder 
case, the 7.8million American workers that labor incompulsory union shops under theNational Labor Relations Act (NLRA),in order to keep their jobs, must notonly continue to finance union monop-oly bargaining via their forced fees, butnow must also pay for union recruit-ment efforts.Before the case reached theSupreme Court, it had been on a long,twisting path. The NLRB shuffled thecase around for nearly a decade beforeruling in 1999 that objecting non-members can be required to subsidizeunion organizing in the same competi-tive market. Next, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit firstunanimously overturned the NLRB
sruling, but later unanimously upheld itduring an
en banc
rehearing.Many labor law experts agree that, inaddition to gutting the
Beck 
ruling, theNinth Circuit
s decision affirming theNLRB directly violates the Foundation-won precedent
Ellis v. Railway Clerks
. In
Ellis
, the nation
s highest court deter-mined under the Railway Labor Act(RLA) that all union organizing expensesare, at most, only tenuously related toWASHINGTON, D.C.
The U.S.Supreme Court announced that it willnot review a key ruling issued by BillClinton
s National Labor RelationsBoard (NLRB) that dramatically dimin-ished the rights of employees to refrainfrom supporting objectionable unionactivities with their forced union dues.By declining to grant a
writ of cer-tiorari
in the case known as
Mulder v.NLRB
, the Supreme Court has, for themoment, cleared the path for unionofficials to force millions of workers inthe private sector to finance union orga-nizing drives or lose their jobs. Unionofficials often spend in excess of 30% of union dues on organizing activities.Unfortunately, U.S. Solicitor GeneralTed Olson and NLRB General CounselArthur Rosenfeld, both Bush appointees,weighed in on behalf of the unionlawyers
position. Olson and Rosenfeldargued that the Supreme Court shoulddeny the petition for review filed byNational Right to Work Legal DefenseFoundation attorneys for Phillip Mulderand five other workers forced to payunion dues to keep their jobs.
Decision guts previouslandmark SupremeCourt ruling
It
s disturbing the BushAdministration took this position inopposition to enforcement of the
Beck 
decision,
said Reed Larson, Presidentof the Foundation, referring to theSupreme Court
s
CommunicationsWorkers v. Beck 
(1988) decision.
Noone should be forced to fund therecruitment of supporters to a privateideological cause to get or keep a job.
Under
Beck 
, a case argued and wonby Foundation attorneys, employeesmay reclaim their forced union duesthat are spent on activities unrelated tocollective bargaining, such as unionideological activity.
High Court Refuses Review of Key Clinton NLRB Ruling
Bush appointees endorsed firing of employees for refusal to fund union organizing 
see
ADMINISTRATION SPURNS
,
page 7 
collective bargaining, and thus employeesunder the RLA who are not members of aunion could not be legally forced to finan-cially support this activity. The SupremeCourt had also previously described therelevant provisions of the RLA and theNLRA as
statutory equivalents.
Even Big Labor allies concede thatthere is a close connection betweenunion organizing and politics. Testi-fying on behalf of the United Food andCommercial Workers (UFCW) union inthe
Mulder 
trial, labor economist PaulaVoos testified that union
organizing
occurs for many reasons unrelated toemployee wages and benefits. Oftenthese include enhancing the politicalsway and incomes of the union leader-ship, and fostering the public percep-tion of the
social idealism
and
ideo-logical gains
that come about throughorganizing.
Despite Big Labor economists
con-fessions that organizing is inextricablytied to politics, the NLRB and the NinthCircuit had other ideas,
said Larson.In affirming the NLRB and establish-ing a nationwide precedent in conflictwith previous Supreme Court rulings, theNinth Circuit ignored the pleas of thegrocery clerks who challenged the objec-tionable activities of the UFCW union.The Supreme Court has now closed thedoor on the employees
claims.
Foundation movesforward on other fronts
Currently, the NLRB is sitting onother cases that address the issue of unionorganizing. Since 1992, NLRB officialshave failed to resolve a case brought bySherry and David Pirlott, employeesat Schreiber Foods in Green Bay,Wisconsin, against the Teamsters unionLocal 75. Teamsters officials had illegallyrebuffed the Pirlotts
attempts to exercise
AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka plays a key role in directing militant union organizing drives.
AP/Wide World Photo
 
Support your Foundation through Planned Giving 
Planned Giving is a great way to support your National Right to WorkFoundation. Some of the ways you can help the Foundation are:
Remembering the
Charitable Trusts
Foundation in your Will
Gifts of Appreciated
Gifts of Stocks/Bonds
Real Estate
For more information on the many ways you can ensure that yoursupport of the Foundation continues, call the Foundation at (800)336-3600or (703) 321-8510. Please ask to speak with Alicia Auerswald.
4
Foundation
Action
January/February 2003
Teacher Union Humiliated by Religious Discrimination
Case draws national attention to how the NEA wrongs people of faith 
City Schools, Klamut asked tohave her dues re-directed to theAmerican Cancer Society. OEAofficials refused to accommodateher, and Klamut was told theunion hierarchy was planning totake legal action against her.Unfortunately, this is not thefirst time Klamut had been thetarget of union harassment. In1997, while working for theLouisville School System,Klamut sparred with the unionafter she was ordered to sendher dues to a union-controlled
charity
or it would not honorher status as a religious objector.After a two-year struggle, Klamut wasable to have her compulsory duesdiverted to the American CancerSociety. However, as soon as she movedschool districts, the union hierarchybegan its harassment all over again.Even when the EEOC found thatthe union violated the law, OEA offi-cials refused to admit any wrongdoing.Finally, to avoid further embarrassment,union officials sent Klamut a snideletter stating,
We are granting yourrequested accommodation. We arenot acknowledging the sincerity of your professed beliefs nor are weacknowledging the law requires us togrant this accommodation.
Case garners mediaattention and promptscongressional hearings
Despite the efforts of union officialsto downplay their illegal behaviortoward teachers like Klamut, there hasbeen an explosion of national mediacoverage of this issue. In addition tonearly one hundred newspaper articles,magazine articles, and radio interviewson the subject, Klamut and theCLEVELAND, Ohio
Rather thanface religious discrimination charges,Ohio Education Association (OEA)union officials begrudgingly agreed tostop harassing Kathleen Klamut, aCleveland-area teacher whose religiousbeliefs prohibited her from supportingthe union
s radical social agenda.With free legal assistance fromNational Right to Work Legal DefenseFoundation attorneys, Klamut filedcharges with the Equal EmploymentOpportunity Commission (EEOC)against the OEA, and its local affiliate,for refusing to accommodate her reli-gious objections to supporting theunion. A devout Christian, Klamutobjects to having her money subsidizethe union
s pro-abortion agenda.
The union has always contendedthat you cannot object to their dues, butI objected specifically to their stand onabortion,
Klamut told
CNSNews.com
.Under Title VII of the Civil RightsAct of 1964, union officials may notforce any employee to support financiallya union if doing so violates the employ-ee
s sincerely held religious beliefs. Toavoid the conflict between an employee
sfaith and a requirement to pay fees to a
Ohio schoolteacher Kathleen Klamut’s religious discrimination struggle against the NEA landed her on Fox News Channel’s #1 talk show with Foundation Vice President Stefan Gleason (right).
union he or she believes to be immoral,the law requires union officials to attemptto accommodate the employee
usuallyby designating a mutually acceptablecharity to receive the funds.
Union refuses to admitwrongdoing
Last fall, when she began working asa school psychologist in the Ravenna
see
TEACHER UNION
,
page 8

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