http://nrtw.org/ Government Demands That Teamsters Union Return Dues Illegally Seized From Workers Union expelled workers for opposing the union, continued to charge full dues Buffalo, N.Y. (July 25, 2002) Responding to federal labor charges filed by attorneys with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a complaint to force Teamsters Local 449 to refund dues illegally collected from employees of Laidlaw Transit Services after they were expelled from union membership for voicing opposition to the union. The case arose when four workers, Alfonso Ditillio, June Reinard, Jill Galluzzo, and Tim Stalker, filed unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB in April 2002. In October 2001, the employees exercised their right to resign from formal union membership and to pay a reduced fee to cover only the costs of collective bargaining. However, Teamsters officials illegally refused to accept their resignations and continued charging them full union dues. In December 2001, Teamsters officials further harassed the workers by expelling them from the union for participating in a decertification election to remove the union from the workplace. Even after the expulsion, union officials continued to demand that the four workers pay full union dues. This is another classic example of the corruption and bully tactics that has earned the Teamsters such an embarrassing reputation, said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. So long as New Yorkers labor under forced unionism, this kind of abuse will invariably continue. The NLRB seeks an order requiring Teamster official to refund all of the union dues collected from the workers since December 2001. Under law, if an employee is kicked out of a union for any reason other than failing to pay union dues he cannot be compelled to pay any dues whatsoever to the union -- despite the existence of a forced unionism requirement in the collective bargaining agreement.