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You can never be forced to join a union? Washington

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  • You can never be forced to join a union? Washington

    I believed for years that you could be forced to join a union in some states. Specifically, states without right-to-work laws, which I believed had union shops.

    Turns out my sources were apparently wrong.

    Upon further research, I discovered that closed shops AND union shops are currently illegal in all 50 states, as you cannot be forced to join a union. It violates freedom of association. You can, however, still be forced to pay dues. (Source) My guess is that people think union shops exist because most people choose to join the union instead of opting out but still paying the fee.

    So after all my research, I concluded that the dozens of people who told me that you could be forced to join a union were incorrect or lying.

    However, I just came across a strange situation, and it has to do with recent events with the Longshore union in Washington. (It's made the news.) According to the union side, there exist contracts that require the company to hire union workers.
    http://www.thestand.org/2011/09/here...-are-so-angry/

    Now, I suspect they're either wrong, or simplifying things. By "simplifying," I mean they're including non-members who only pay the agency fee. (And there might be no such workers.) But there's apparently a contract! And since people who work at ports, railways, airplanes, and other certain sectors are sometimes handled under separate labor laws than everybody else, is a closed or open shop actually legal in some of these situations? Can a company legally enforce a contract to only hire union members, whether at a port or not?

  • #2
    I think there is a fine grey line between "forcing someone to join the union" and "forcing someone to pay the union dues even if they wish to not join."

    I think if a person wants to work, but is against unions or against that particular union that "occupies" a company, forcing that person to pay the union dues is, in effect, forcing them to join an organization they don't want to be a part of.

    If my money were being taken out of my paycheck, against my will, to pay for a union that uses the money for political activities I disagree with, I'd certainly resent it. And I'd certainly give a break to the person in that position who says they were "foced to join the union." It's basically the same thing.

    If there's a health club in your neighborhood, and you are forced to pay for a health club membership, even if you don't wish to go to the health club, then it's the same as "being forced to join" the healthclub.

    Comment


    • #3
      TS, those who opt not to join a union can be "forced" to pay an agency fee for the portion of the dues that goes toward collective bargaining and certain other activities. Whether the union chooses to charge these fees or not, is up to them. Ours have opted not to do so but that was their choice.
      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ElleMD View Post
        TS, those who opt not to join a union can be "forced" to pay an agency fee for the portion of the dues that goes toward collective bargaining and certain other activities. Whether the union chooses to charge these fees or not, is up to them. Ours have opted not to do so but that was their choice.
        Yes, it's the forced payment that most have a problem with. Even if it's less than what "real" members pay, they are still forcing people to pay something.

        It would be wonderful if all unions in non-right-to-work states decided to NOT charge fees and dues to those who opt out. But I fear those are the exception and not the rule.

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        • #5
          This is beside the point

          Whether or not you want to pay the agency fee is irrelevant. It has already been ruled legal for an employer (in non right-to-work states) to require you to pay the agency fee.

          I had two questions in this thread:
          1) Can a company enforce a contract which requires it to hire union members
          2) Can port/railway/airline employees be required to join a union, due to the different laws which govern such labor?

          Comment


          • #6
            In the non-Right to Work states, an employer can enter into a union contract agreeing to hire only individuals who join the union or pay the equivalent of union dues.

            With respect to railroad and airline employees’ unions, they are governed under the Railway Labor Act (“RLA”). A railroad or airline employee who objects to financially supporting the non-collective bargaining activity of his or her union can pay a reduced agency fee consistent with the RLA.

            Comment


            • #7
              Sounds like a homework assignment to me....
              I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
              Thomas Jefferson

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              • #8
                It's pretty straightforward. Except where prohibited by law ("right to work" states) the Union and the Employer can agree to a Closed-Shop clause whereby the employee would either have to join the Union or pay a "non-member fee", which is generally not too much less than the full member fee. Even in a "right to work" state there are Federal enclaves where the law of the state is superseded by Federal. The option to pay the "non-member fee" excludes the employee for taking part in Union business and from receiving additional "member's only" perks offered by the Union.

                As an aside, I have no problem with employees choosing not to pay Union dues, but I have a big problem with them being entitled to representation and collectively bargained increases/fringes when they choose not to contribute. That is just ridiculous.

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                • #9
                  iregretmostofmyposts, please do not reply to old threads. This thread is over 7 months old. Thanks.
                  Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                  Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Who do you think you are? Some kind of "super moderator" or something? Oh.

                    I didn't realize that it was so old until I left the quote. This site is pretty dead, do you know of a more active one, or am I missing something?

                    Originally posted by Betty3 View Post
                    iregretmostofmyposts, please do not reply to old threads. This thread is over 7 months old. Thanks.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We don't post replies to old dead threads. (only current threads) The original poster has already received answers & I doubt is waiting for any additional answers after this amount of time. Thanks.

                      You're welcome to do a google search for other forums that you believe are more active.
                      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Can you read, Betty? I told you that it was a mistake. Geez.

                        Originally posted by Betty3 View Post
                        We don't post replies to old dead threads. (only current threads) The original poster has already received answers & I doubt is waiting for any additional answers after this amount of time. Thanks.

                        You're welcome to do a google search for other forums that you believe are more active.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I regret most of your posts too.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by iregretmostofmyposts View Post
                            Can you read, Betty? I told you that it was a mistake. Geez.
                            iregretmostofmyposts, you came back & posted again & asked an additional question also - therefore, my reply.

                            I believe this thread has run its course. The original post might even have been a homework assignment anyway which we generally do not reply to.
                            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                            Comment

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