Showing posts with label right to work. Show all posts
Showing posts with label right to work. Show all posts

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Federal judge strikes down part of Georgia’s right-to-work law

Unions in Georgia are declaring victory after Senior United States District Judge William C. O’Kelley struck down part of Georgia’s right-to-work statute as contrary to the National Labor Relations Act.

Specifically, the judge granted a summary judgment in favor of Georgia State AFL-CIO Truck Drivers & Helpers Local No. 728, and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1996, which had challenged the state law that allowed employees to revoke their union membership at any time.

The judge struck down sections 3(d), 4, and 5 of Georgia’s right-to-work statute (Act No. 192 of the Georgia 2013 Session Laws, O.C.G.A. §§ 34-6-21, 34-6-25, and 34-6-26) as unenforceable because it conflicted with the NLRA.

The labor organizations asserted the right to engage in the collective bargaining process without state interference as well as the ability to enter into temporarily irrevocable checkoff authorization agreements pursuant to an enumerated exception in federal law.

According to the National Labor Relations Board web site,

“The NLRA allows employers and unions to enter into union-security agreements, which require all employees in a bargaining unit to become union members and begin paying union dues and fees within 30 days of being hired.

Even under a security agreement, employees who object to full union membership may continue as 'core' members and pay only that share of dues used directly for representation, such as collective bargaining and contract administration. Known as objectors, they are no longer full members but are still protected by the union contract. Unions are obligated to tell all covered employees about this option, which was created by a Supreme Court ruling and is known as the Beck right.

An employee may object to union membership on religious grounds, but in that case, must pay an amount equal to dues to a nonreligious charitable organization.

24 states have banned union-security agreements by passing so-called "right to work" laws. In these states, it is up to each employee at a workplace to decide whether or not to join the union and pay dues, even though all workers are protected by the collective bargaining agreement negotiated by the union.”

Even in those circumstances, Judge O’Kelley found that union members in Georgia could not arbitrarily stop paying union dues at will.