The employee did not want to have union dues deducted from his paycheck.
YOUNGSTOWN -- A formal hearing on a complaint filed against the Bakery and Confectionery Workers Union Local 19 and Schwebel Baking Company Inc. by Region 8 of the National Labor Relations Board on the firing of a bakery worker will be held in March.
Frederick Catatrello, regional director of the NLRB, issued a decision on Dec. 29 to prosecute the case against the union and the bakery for what was termed the unlawful firing of Steven Taday of Brunswick, Ohio, who exercised his right not to subsidize union political activities and refused to join the union and sign a dues "check-off" card.
Taday filed his complaint with the NLRB against the company Sept. 1.
Taday, who obtained free legal assistance from attorneys with the National Right to Work Defense Foundation in Springfield, Va., filed separate unfair labor practices with the NLRB against the union and the company last Oct. 15.
The former employee, who had worked at the Schwebel facility in Solon, filed the charges after union officials pressured the company into firing him for refusing to sign a card authorizing automatic dues deductions from his paychecks.
Catatrello consolidated the charges in issuing the formal complaint, which will be heard by an NLRB administrative law judge March 17 in Cleveland.
In the complaint, Taday alleged that, beginning in Feb. 2004, union officials misrepresented his rights by informing him that he was required to maintain full membership and sign a dues check-off authorization that would allow the automatic deduction of union dues as a condition of employment. Taday is seeking reinstatement to his job inside the bakery.
Atty. Mark Carissimi, deputy regional attorney at the NLRB, noted that after the hearing, the parties have the right to file briefs and other documents to support their arguments.
He said, typically, a decision on a case can take several months depending on the number of outstanding cases.
"It is always, however, a priority to make every effort to settle these complaints before going to trial," Carissimi stressed.
Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation, said the ruling of the NLRB is a positive move for workers.
"Union officials want workers like Steven Taday to simply shut up and pay up," he stressed.
Gleason added, " Rather than respect the rights of workers they represent, union officials are bullying workers to pay for their political electioneering."
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Communications Workers v. Beck, stated that union officials must specifically inform employees of their right to refrain from formal union membership and their right not to be forced to pay for costs unrelated to collective bargaining, such as union political activity.