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UNION OBSTACLES IN WITHDRAWING FROM DUES CHECK-OFF OBLIGATIONS

A recent NLRB ruling demonstrates how unions often place obstacles on the ability of employees to withdraw from their union dues check-off obligations.  Teamsters Local 385 (Walt Disney Parks), 366 NLRB No. 90 (6/20/18).  In this case, the Teamsters Local was found to have deliberately failed to respond to employees of Walt Disney and United Parcel Service who inquired about resigning from the union and canceling their payroll deductions of union dues.  While unions may require employees to put their resignation requests in writing, in this case an administrative law judge said the union had "made it virtually impossible" for employees to revoke their dues authorizations in a timely manner.  All requests to withdraw from the union or paying union dues had to be directed to a single officer of the union, and this union officer was usually away on travel from his office.  His practice was to not answer telephone or email requests to revoke dues authorizations because they were supposed to be in writing.  Further, the check-off authorization cards provided only a limited "escape" period to withdraw from the union which was determined from the date of the original authorization.  Employees who tried to determine when they could revoke their dues check-offs were often ignored by the union, causing them to miss their "window periods" to withdraw from paying union dues.  The NLRB found the union practices were illegal and ordered the union to advise employees that it will not fail to respond to such inquiries.


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