Unions Frustrate the Exercise of Beck Rights

Congressional hearings have demonstrated that workers often experience union coercion and intimidation once they try to assert their rights under the Beck decision. Many workers testified about the harassment and intimidation tactics some unions use to try to silence Beck objectors.8

Many unions also thwart the exercise of Beck rights by putting obstacles in the way of workers. They may, for example, limit the time of year when objections can be made, require annual renewal of objections, or acknowledge receipt of Beck objections only when selected union officials are notified in writing. It is a classic runaround designed to wear down the average worker and cause him to abandon his personal employment rights.

Employees must file a charge with the NLRB to remedy these unfair labor practices. While a courageous individual employee may ultimately prevail over his union, this possibility is not much of a deterrent to unions committed to delaying or discouraging the exercise of Beck rights.

Labor unions simply have no specific, immediate interest in apprising workers of their Beck rights or cooperating with them to process Beck requests: Quite the contrary, since refunding money to objecting workers means reduced union discretionary funds.

It took a law to create this problem; it will take a law to help remedy it.