(The Center Square) – A Seattle-area man has filed charges against a Service Employees International Union local, claiming deceptive practices and illegal dues deductions.
Daniel Dalison, who works for Pacific Building Services, filed the charges against SEIU6 Property Services NW with the National Labor Relations Board, according to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which assisted with the filing.
Dalison claims the union violated his rights by maintaining misleading membership forms.
Dalison also filed charges with the NLRB against his employer for what he says are illegal union dues deductions. Dalison said he never authorized the deductions and objected to union membership, as well as paying union fees beyond the amount that can be required as a condition of employment.
Dalison’s claims fall under what are commonly referred to as “Beck Rights.” The term comes from the landmark 1988 Supreme Court case Communications Workers of America v. Beck, which was won by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.
In states like Washington that have not enacted right-to-work legislation protecting private-sector employees from forced union membership, workers can still be forced to pay fees to a union as a condition of getting or keeping a job. Under Beck, those fees are limited to only the portion directly related to collective bargaining purposes and cannot include money spent on political or ideological activities.
Dalison claims the initial paperwork given to him by SEIU6 incorrectly stated that he could not exercise his Beck Rights beyond 31 days from his hire date. He also says the union membership form automatically triggered full dues paycheck deductions despite saying “nothing about dues authorization.”
Federal law says employers cannot deduct union dues or fees from employees’ paychecks without affirmative consent, regardless of membership status.
Dalison said he sent the union letters indicating he did not want to be a member and only wished to pay the required fees. He also asked the union to provide an independent audit of its expenses, which is required by federal law.
The union responded with a letter telling Dalison he “must have misunderstood his options” and that he was a full member.
Earlier this year, Dalison filed similar charges against SEIU 1199NW while working at Seattle’s Swedish Medical Center. Those charges are still pending before the NLRB Region 19.
“Within just a few months, Seattle SEIU bosses have proved repeatedly that they will violate the rights of workers they claim to represent just to illegally siphon dues from employee paychecks,” National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix said in a statement.