UAW Sued for Fraud
While some workers across the country are still forced to pay dues to their local union, at least they’re paying an actual union. This may not be the case for retired actuary Jim Shake, the plaintiff of a lawsuit filed by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
Shake, a former actuary at the UAW headquarters in Detroit, had been paying dues to something called “Local X.” But after he spent years contributing dues, according to the press release announcing his lawsuit against the UAW, “Shake never witnessed any meetings, contract negotiations, employee representation or anything else signaling that he received union representation through UAW’s Local X.”
Even though Michigan is a right-to-work state, that didn’t stop Shake’s manager from threatening his job when he attempted to opt out. “I paid the dues, but then found out there was no actual union – nobody was representing me,” Shake said. In his lawsuit, Shake is hoping to reclaim the $7,000-plus in dues the UAW took from him during his employment.
This is just the latest example of why all workers should have the right to choose if they want to belong to, or pay money to, a union. When unions don’t have their members’ best interests in mind, those members should be able to go elsewhere. Even in right-to-work states like Michigan, workers are still being pressured to stay in their union, though they have the right to opt out. It’s so important that workers have the right to opt out, and that they feel safe in doing so. States need to take the necessary steps to ensure that they are protecting their workers and their rights.