Claiming breach of contract, the CWA is taking a woman to court for failing to pay a $24,000 union fine after she crossed the union’s picket lines during a strike
In 2016, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) took nearly 40,000 workers out on strike against telecommunications giant Verizon.
As sometimes happens when strikes occur, union members who do not know their obligations to honor their union’s picket lines and refrain from working during a strike, cross their union’s picket line—placing themselves in jeopardy of being placed on trial by the union and fined thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars.
Such is the case of CWA member Barbara Tucker who, when the union went on strike on April 13, 2016, chose to cross the picket line.
After the strike ended at the beginning of June, Tucker’s CWA union local filed charges against her for violating the union’s constitution and, at a union trial, found her guilty and fined her $24,000.
After refusing to pay the union fine, the CWA is now filing suit against her in s state court for “breach of contract.”
“Tucker continued to work throughout the strike and earned considerable compensation including regular time compensation, overtime compensation, incentive compensation and health care and other benefits,” the complaint states.
Verizon meanwhile canceled the health coverage of striking employees in late April. To cover the cost of its members’ medical care until the strike ended, the Communications’ Workers union and the IBEW had to dip into a relief fund.
The union says it held a trial on Tucker in September, and its randomly selected trial body of Local 1400 members imposed a fine against Tucker of more than $24,000.
Saying she has refused to pay the amount due, the union wants a judge to intervene.
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