Foundation Sues UAW, State Over Mandatory Union Fees
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) _ Sixteen state employees filed a federal suit on Thursday in an effort to block mandatory dues payments to the United Auto Workers union, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation said.
The class-action lawsuit seeks to remove the fee requirement for 22,000 state employees represented by UAW Local 6000, several thousand of whom aren’t union members.
The employees contend the dues deductions will force them to finance political campaigns, ideological causes and other non-collective bargaining activities they oppose, the Springfield, Va.-based foundation said in a statement released in Detroit.
Beginning Oct. 13, non-members will be required to pay so-called agency fees nearly equal to union dues, the statement said.
″This new ‘agency shop’ scheme is nothing more than an attempt by UAW officials to replenish their political coffers and advance their agenda with the wages of state workers who want nothing to do with that agenda,″ Rex H. Reed, the foundation’s executive vice president, said in a separate statement. ″And the state of Michigan is a willing accomplice and must be held accountable.″
Spokesman Reg McGhee said from UAW headquarters in Detroit that a Grand Rapids attorney was reviewing the suit on the union’s behalf.
″But we haven’t seen any paperwork back here,″ McGhee said. ″Until we see the actual charge, we have no comment at this time.″
Besides the UAW and Local 6000, defendants include state Treasurer Robert Bowman, Department of Public Health Director Raj Wiener and personnel directors of state government agencies.