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NLRB Finds Against Union on Objection Renewal Issue

While we expect the current National Labor Relations Board to issue mostly pro-labor decisions, here is a situation where a labor union went too far and the Board just could not support them.  Recently, the Board dealt with whether a nonunion member who was part of the bargaining unit was required to renew his objection to being a union member each year.  In this case, the employee had exercised his right to not be a union member.  However, labor laws require that employees in the bargaining unit who are not union members pay “agency fees” (the portion of dues covering representational expenditures).  The employee wrote a letter to the union stating he permanently objected to being a union member, and the union should consider his letter a continuous renewal of his objection. 

The union asserted that the employee should be required to renew his objection each year.  The union tried to maintain this requirement hoping that the employee would forget to renew, thereby giving the union a new member for a year.  The Board found the union had no legitimate reason for requiring annual renewal of the employee’s objection.  The union argued it wanted to give the employee a chance to change his mind and needed to keep his address up to date in their records.  This argument was rejected by the Board, which said there were other methods by which a union could keep its address records up to date.

The facts of this case reflect the continuous use of coercive tactics by unions to trick employees into becoming union members.  Employers with collective bargaining agreements should remember that employees have a right to reject being a union member.  Brody and Associates regularly advises its clients on all labor management issues and provides various training programs.  If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.965.0560.