I have decided to share the process that I have taken to separate myself from the UAW and Local 600 in hopes of making this procedure easier for others who may wish to do the same. I started this process beginning in April of 2014 by writing a letter to the International UAW exercising my Beck Rights (view the letter here and 2012 Report of Expenditures here) and subsequently giving up not only my membership privileges, but most importantly taking back a portion of my paycheck that I was forced to pay to the UAW in support of the democratic party.
I in turn received a reply from International UAW dated April 22, 2014 stating they received my Beck Objection letter (see letter here) and they are notifying Ford Motor Company to change the amount of union dues deducted to 62.39% of my normal union dues allocation with an effective date of April 1st, 2014. At this point you would think the rest of the process is pretty cut and dry. Unfortunately not. Unbeknownst to me the notification letter UAW sent to Ford Motor Payroll (see letter here) was mailed to an invalid address. This was not discovered until after many fruitless attempts were made by me to discover why full union dues were still being collected illegally by the UAW. It was only after I mailed my opt-out letter to International UAW (see letter here) and Ford Motor Payroll, to the same address which the UAW mailed my Beck request letter to, did I realize there was a problem. The registered letter I mailed was never received by Ford Motor Payroll and was returned to me undeliverable. How long would the UAW let this matter go unresolved? How long would they illegally collect full union dues after their acknowledgement of my Beck Rights? Would the UAW have notified me of their undeliverable letter mailed to an incorrect address for Ford Motor Payroll? Only after I contacted the National Right To Work Legal Defense Fund did the UAW begin to address a resolution.
On June 19, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Inc. accepted me as a client.
As of July 19, 2014 there has been no resolution with the UAW and full dues are still being collected from me illegally. NTRW, on July 10, 2014, requested from the Local 600 Financial Secretary, a full refund of the illegally collected dues and a copy of the Dues Authorization Card that I signed upon my employment which allows the UAW to automatically withdraw union dues from my paycheck. I must emphasize here that I previously requested this refund and copy of my dues authorization card numerous times from my UAW Local 600 Financial Secretary and my HR Manager with no success. My HR Manager stated the card was not in my employee file, and the UAW Local 600 Financial Secretary stated he would check into it, but never answered my request. An email reply was received to NTRW’ s request, on July 14, 2014, from UAW Local 600 Attorney stating that my requests are being processed as quickly as possible.
As of today, July 19, 2014 the only communication I have received from the UAW is one dated July 18 2014, which is a letter notifying me that dues for Agency Fee Objectors will now be increased to 68.60% from 62.39% (See letter here and revised 2013 UAW Expenditure Report here). Not only has the UAW seen a need to increase regular membership dues, more money will now be collected from those who choose to exercise their Beck Rights.
All of this is being done not only because I object politically but I’m preparing to exercise my right to soon opt out of UAW Local 600 permanently upon contract expiration. As a short aside and of importance to those UAW members who wish to exercise their “Right To Work” the UAW, on June 23, 2014 sent me a letter outlining Section 14 of Public Act 348 of 2012 (Michigan’s Right to Work Law), stating that I may formally exercise my rights by submitting my request to opt out of the union in the 30 day period prior to the expiration date of my current contract (September 2015) or at any time I wish thereafter (see letter here). Hopefully we will have paved the way for the process of smoothly opting out of the UAW by then.
On July 23rd, 2014 I was visited by my Local 600 Financial Secretary and my Unit President and given a refund check for 3 months (still awaiting a full July refund) in the amount of $73.50. I also received my deduction authorization form (see language here) which explains there is only a small 10 day window for which a member may revoke their dues authorization based on one’s own individual anniversary date. It will be interesting to see how the dues revocation process language here plays out when the current contract expires.
On August 1st, 2014 – UAW refunded the remaining portion of my dues for the month of July in the amount of $24.50.
August 7, 2014 – Full dues still being deducted from most recent check. Will continue to move forward in the process.
August 21, 2014 – National Right to Work issues a press release regarding the charges filed on my behalf with the National Labor Relations Board against the UAW and Ford Motor Company. Click the link below to read the release.
September 18, 2014 – As of today I’m officially a successful Beck Objector! The charges with the NLRB against Ford Motor Company were dropped after the correct percentage of union dues were deducted. Myself and one other Ford Motor Company employee were the first to file their Beck Rights which resulted in Ford Motor Payroll subsequently having to change their payroll system to accommodate “percentage calculations” rather than their simply selecting a Yes/No to Union Dues check-box. Today the UAW refunded what was completely owed to me which resulted in the charges against the UAW with the NLRB to be dropped.
The next step of this process may or may not be met with resistance and that will be when I reach my anniversary date of May 26, 2015, when I will file the necessary letter revoking my dues checkoff authorization card. This will stop automatic payroll deduction of my union dues and allow me to pay them on my own accord. I will keep you posted.
August 20, 2015 – This will be the final update to this posting. On May 7, 2015 I submitted my Dues Revocation Letter to Ford Motor company for which upon receipt they immediately suspended my dues check-off authorization as well as the deduction of union dues from my check. This process was met with no resistance and as of June 1,2015 I no longer paid union dues to local 600.
On August 17th, 2015 I mailed my Union Resignation letter to International UAW formally exercising my Right to Work and resigned fully from the union. I am no longer a Local 600 Union member working in a closed union shop.
This has been quite an adventure. Hopefully I can help others truly exercise their right to work and gain freedom from forced union dues and forced union membership. The UAW Ford Motor Company contract will expire September 14, 2015 and those who choose to resign from the union can do so 30 days prior to contract expiration and/or anytime thereafter. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or if I can be of any assistance in helping forced union members truly become free.