Employee Files Charges Against UAW, Ford Over Dues

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Though it won’t be until next September when Detroit Three employees in Michigan will be able to opt-out of paying dues to the United Auto Workers, one Ford employee has gone ahead with legal action to recoup some of his dues now.

Detroit Free Press reports Ford tool-and-die maker Todd Lemire, with legal help from the National Right to Work Foundation, has filed charges against both the automaker and the UAW with the National Labor Relations Board on the objection to using a portion of his dues to support the Democratic Party, invoking his Beck rights to claw back $98 of dues over the past three months thus far.

If successful, the legal action would pave the way for others who don’t want to pay dues beyond core union activities, if at all, prior to the September 15, 2015 expiration date of the UAW’s current contracts with the Detroit Three. After that date, new contracts would allow all workers in Michigan the right to opt-out of paying any dues, the result of the state legislature’s passage of Michigan’s right-to-work law in 2012.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Commando Commando on Aug 25, 2014

    30 or more years ago Mr Lemire would have been politely accompanied into The Hall to discuss the situation. No Lawyers. Shame. Now only lawsuits, feet dragging, lawyers getting rich, government agencies getting involved, and all of it making the news. Are things really better now?

    • See 1 previous
    • Xeranar Xeranar on Aug 26, 2014

      @CJinSD Read this book before you keep ranting like a fool. It's getting tiresome here to listen to all these right-wing meme arguments about the actual role of the mob in unions. I know Jacobs, a nice guy, he's a bit hung up on his own vision of mobsters but his book is a perfectly good example of understanding the relationship they had with organized labor. Mobsters, Unions, and Feds The Mafia and the American Labor Movement James B. Jacobs

  • Mikey Mikey on Aug 25, 2014

    No CJ, it won't put the thugs out of our businesses. If nothing else the dissension generated will just put fuel on the fire. I don't believe that there should be any grey area. You have a union shop, or you don't. I'd like to hear the views from the first line supervisors on the shop floor.

  • Mechaman Mechaman on Aug 25, 2014

    Had a good laugh at the discussions, recalling an incident at my employ years ago: we were on strike (and the reasons would surprise you, but I won't digress) and one of the members, pressured by his wife, crossed the picket line. The strike ended about a week later, and he got what the rest of us did .. and no, no one bothered him about what he did. However, he cursed the union rep out, blaming him for the strike, just after he crossed the line. A week after work restarted, he had a dispute with a supervisor, and went to the same union rep to grieve..and interestingly, the first thing out of his mouth was, "I'll bet you ain't gonna do nothin' for me." The union rep told him, "You are still part of the union. And I am going to have your back. Now what you gotta do is go home and think about what YOU did, in your idle moments." Oh, and as a side point, it's common to hear people talk about 'union bosses', because it sounds so much like 'mob bosses', but no one calls CEO's and such 'Business Bosses', when they do the same thing that Union leaders do...

  • Mikey Mikey on Aug 25, 2014

    I got a true story. Fall of 96, I'm on picket duty, mid morning, nice sunny Oct day. There was maybe 20 of us, all middle aged guys, and a few women, some had just dropped their kids off at school. A big white 15 passenger van pulls up. All younger men, casual dress. Were thinking, some $hit is going to happen. A fair size lad ,late 20's good shape guy, gets out of the passenger side front door, and approached us. Takes out a pack of smokes, offers them around. The rest of his crew is still in the van with the engine running. So after a little small talk, weather, sports etc, the dude says "are you guys going to let us into the plant"? We all kinda looked at each other. Our answer "no". The guy wished us a good day. He opens the van door, and we can hear him plain as day, "No way guys, I had a good talk with them strikers and they refused us entry" The Van pulled away, and the driver tapped his horn. We can see them all high fiveing each other. I guess we just gave the office guys a day off. They were probably heading for the golf course. I guess one could interpret that as a confrontation with the Union Thugs.

    • Mechaman Mechaman on Aug 25, 2014

      Yeah, I remember when the office people were told that they'd need to come in and run some machines to get out some urgent orders. That lasted less than ONE shift.