Workers Take Union To Court For Levying $1 Million In Fines

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A complaint has been made by The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the International Association of Machinists (IAM) District Lodge 851 for violating the rights of three Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) workers after they crossed the picket line in last summer’s union strike against the company.

The three workers, who are being represented for free by National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, complained that the union violated their rights and levied fines against them that were retaliatory in nature.

It was on May 1, 2012, that union bosses ordered all 800 Caterpillar employees at Joliet to go on strike; however, 100 workers turned up to work against the demands of the union.

Once the strikes were over, union bosses handed out more than $1 million dollars in fines, one of which was in excess of $20,000.

Fifty of those workers have now filed federal charges claiming that they were never actually union members and therefore cannot be disciplined under the bylaws of the union.

Many of the charges have been dropped since action was first taken, but the NLRB has issued a complaint for two workers, Jarius Jackson and Darrell Roland, that says they were told they could go back to work in spite of the strike, and for a third worker, Mark Jones, who claims he resigned his union membership before crossing the picket line.

“The NLRB will finally prosecute IAM union bosses now that their pattern of workers’ rights abuses has become clear,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation.  “The ugly aftermath of the Caterpillar strike underscores the need for an Illinois Right to Work law.”

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