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Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Dues Used for Political Activism: Hotel Workers Sue Local 5
By News Release @ 5:55 PM :: 4389 Views :: Energy, Environment

Another Honoulu Hotel Worker Challenges Bogus Union Boss Accounting Scheme

From National Right to Work Foundation

Thu, 06/07/2012 - Will Collins , NRTW

Brenda Lee Orr, a Honolulu hotel employee, has just filed another round of federal unfair labor practice charges against the UNITE HERE Local 5 union with the help of Foundation staff attorneys. According to an audited breakdown of UNITE HERE's finances, Orr was forced to pay for political lobbying and a union strike fund despite the fact that she is not a union member.

Because Hawaii lacks a Right to Work law, Orr and other nonunion employees can be forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment. However, nonunion workers cannot be compelled to pay for union politics or other activities unrelated to workplace bargaining.

Regular readers may recall that UNITE HERE Local 5 is already facing charges from several other Honolulu hotel workers. This isn't the first time the union has tangled with Orr, either. In 2009, UNITE HERE officials agreed to refund a substantial chunk of Orr's union dues after they were caught using her money for political activism.

Despite years of litigation, UNITE HERE bosses still haven't learned their lesson. That's why Hawaiian workers need a Right to Work law, which would ensure that no employee is forced to join or pay dues to a union just to get or keep a job.

* * * * *

Hotel Employee Files another Round of Federal Charges against Scofflaw Union

UNITE HERE officials forced nonunion employee to fund lobbying, strikes

Honolulu, HI (May 10, 2012) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys, a Hyatt Regency employee has filed another round of federal unfair labor practice charges against the UNITE HERE Local 5 union.

Steven Taono doesn’t belong to Local 5 but can still be forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment because Hawaii lacks a Right to Work law. However, the Foundation-won Supreme Court precedent Communication Workers v. Beck holds that nonunion employees cannot be forced to pay for union activities unrelated to workplace bargaining, such as political lobbying or members-only activities.

In December 2011, Taono received a breakdown of union financial expenditures from Local 5. According to the union’s books, he was forced to contribute to a variety of activities outside the scope of workplace negotiations, including UNITE HERE political lobbying and a union strike fund.

Taono’s charges follow similar allegations raised last week by two other Honolulu hotel workers, who also contend that union officials forced them to pay for union political activism.

The charges will now be investigated by the National Labor Relations Board, a federal agency charged with administering private sector labor law.

“Once again, UNITE HERE bosses have demonstrated how little regard they have for workers’ rights,” said Patrick Semmens, legal information director for the National Right to Work Foundation. “The only permanent solution to chronic union law-breaking is a Hawaii Right to Work law, which would ensure that no employee can be forced to join or pay dues to a union.”

* * * * *

Hotel Union Faces Federal Charges for Forcing Nonmember Employees to Fund Lobbying, Strikes

Case emphasizes need for a Right to Work law in the Aloha State

Honolulu, HI (April 27, 2012) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, two Honolulu hotel employees have filed federal unfair labor practice charges against the UNITE HERE Local 5 union.

Grant Suzuki and Daryl Sakugawa don’t belong to Local 5 but can still be forced to pay union dues and fees as a condition of employment because Hawaii lacks a Right to Work law. However, the Foundation-won Supreme Court precedent Communication Workers v. Beck holds that nonunion employees cannot be forced to pay for union activities unrelated to workplace bargaining, such as political lobbying or members-only activities.

In December 2011, Suzuki and Sakugawa received a breakdown of union financial expenditures from Local 5. According to the union’s books, both employees were forced to contribute to a variety of activities outside the scope of workplace negotiations, including UNITE HERE political lobbying and a union strike fund.

Suzuki has repeatedly clashed with union officials, filing successful unfair labor practice charges in 2008 to force UNITE HERE operatives to return illegally-seized union dues. Suzuki has since been targeted by union officials for harassment because he informed his coworkers of their rights to opt-out of union dues, resign their union membership, and continue working during union-instigated strikes.

The charges will now be investigated by the National Labor Relations Board, a federal agency charged with administering private sector labor law.

“They’ve been caught red-handed before, but Local 5 bosses continue to have no qualms about extracting forced dues from nonunion hotel workers to fund their political agenda,” said Patrick Semmens, legal information director for the National Right to Work Foundation. “While we hope the NLRB will promptly return Suzuki and Sakugawa’s dues to their rightful owners, the only permanent solution is a Hawaii Right to Work law, which would make union membership and dues payments strictly voluntary.”

---30---

UNITE HERE Local 5 Political Activism: The transsexual agenda for Hawaii schools

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