ON-Lion Letter
The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation in Midland, Mich., filed a lawsuit in August on behalf of four City of Dearborn employees against Teamsters Local 214 over the union's misreading of Michigan's right-to-work law.  The union recently adopted a policy that would require non-union member employees to pay for the processing of filing grievances.  The right-to-work law, however, clearly states that no employee has to financially support a union as a condition of employment.

Specifically, the right-to-work law -- which applies to both private- and public-sector employees -- says that no individual should have to "pay any dues, fees, assessments, or other charges or expenses of any kind or amount" as a condition of obtaining or keeping employment. 

But Teamsters Local 214 believes non-union member employees like Mackinac's clients should have to pay for the processing of their grievances.  To wield greater power, unions request "exclusive representation" of employees in the represented bargaining unit.  In Michigan, this is the law for employees in public-sector unions.  This "exclusive representation" applies to both union members and non-members in the bargaining unit.

Teamsters Local 214 does not even allow individual employees to arbitrate a grievance or go to a department head unless he or she goes exclusively through the union.  The union wants non-union members to pay for this grievance representation out of their own pockets.

Mackinac's clients are asking the Wayne County Circuit Court to void the Teamsters' policy as a violation of the right-to-work law.

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