For union members living in states without Right-to-Work laws, union dues are a legal obligation—even if members are not working—as union members in New York are finding out.
Members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are learning the hard way that, if they were out on “maternity leave, medical or disability leave or furlough during the coronavirus pandemic,” they still were obligated to pay union dues.
According to the New York Post, Teamster members who have been out on leave are receiving letters from their local union demanding payment of union dues that were not paid when the workers were not collecting paychecks.
“In an extraordinary move, Teamsters Local 707 has sent delinquency collection notices to off-track-betting workers and other members it says are in arrears for union dues totaling hundreds or even thousands of dollars a pop.”
“The targeted members were on maternity leave, medical or disability leave or furlough during the coronavirus pandemic. While union dues are automatically deducted from worker paychecks, that is not the case when members are off the payroll.”
“If the members don’t cough up what is owed, Teamsters 707 warned that it will instruct the Nassau County OTB and other employers to double the union dues taken from the workers’ salaries until they’re paid up.” [Emphasis added.]
The NY Post goes on to note how Teamsters Local 707 Secretary Treasurer John Zirpoli wrote in a letter to the OTB workers, stating: “A review of our records indicates you are delinquent in your dues payments to Teamsters Local 707.”
“It is the members responsibility to continue to pay union dues when out on either compensation, disability, FMLA, LOA or furlough because you are still considered an active member member who will be returning to work without loss of seniority at some point in time, according to Article XVIII Section 6A of the International Constitution,” he said.
Read the rest here.