Mackinac Center Legal Foundation wins case against union; Teamsters will pay Foundation's legal fees
The Teamsters Union on Friday agreed to dismiss all of its claims against three city of Dearborn employees in a case that involved union representation obligations under Michigan’s right-to-work law.
The Teamsters and the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation agreed to end the lawsuit with the union also agreeing to pay attorney’s fees to MCLF.
Last year, after the state's right-to-work law went into effect and it became illegal for unions to have an employee fired for not paying dues or fees, the Teamsters instituted a fee for non-members who wanted to file a grievance.
"We're glad that we could settle this amicably," MCLF attorney Derk Wilcox said. "Unions simply cannot institute policies that discriminate in this manner against non-union employees whom the unions choose to represent. Across the state we see unions throwing up roadblocks to employees resigning their union membership, be it through windows that only allow resignation during certain time periods, or through penalties that make employment harder for those who exercise their worker freedom. This won't be allowed to stand."
Under the state's law, workers who opt out of a union must still surrender the right to speak and act for themselves in regard to bargaining with the employer because unions continue to reserve the right to represent every employee — union members and non-members alike. State law requires that unions treat all employees they represents equally. Unions fight for this exclusive representation to enhance their bargaining power, whether workers want it or not.
After the MCLF brought suit on behalf of the Dearborn employees who resigned from the union, the Teamsters changed the policy so that all employees would be treated equally. However, the Teamsters also made counterclaims alleging that the three Dearborn employees failed to properly resign from the union and that these employees had to continue paying dues and owed back dues. These were the claims the union finally dropped last week.