ST. LOUIS – The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTW) is representing a St. Louis-area paramedic who claims the Teamsters Local 610 violated the National Labor Relation Act during his employment.
The NRTW, established in 1968, is defending Jarod Aubuchon, who alleges the Teamsters union would not allow him to resign from the union and that his employer, Medic One Ambulance, threatened to terminate him for posting literature regarding workers' rights to resign from unions. In Missouri, the lack of a right-to-work law means that employees who choose not to participate in a union still must pay reduced fees to be employed.
"This case demonstrates the kind of abuse that happens when workers lack the protections of a right-to-work law," Mark Mix, president of the NRTW, said in a statement.
Aubuchon alleges he submitted a letter to union agents on April 8 to end his membership, asserting his legal right under the NRTW-won Communication Workers of America v. Beck to pay reduced union fees as a nonmember.
"The charge against the union reports that since Aubuchon submitted his resignation, neither his resignation nor his Beck rights have been acknowledged by Teamsters bosses," the NRTW press release states. "Moreover, full dues are still being seized from his paychecks."
NRTW notes that while Missouri legislators authorized a right-to-work law in 2017, "Big Labor" fought back with a referendum in 2018 and won. While that leaves union officials free to have workers fired for nonpayment of union fees, according to the NRTW, Teamsters still must abide by Beck to justify the amount of any mandatory fees.
Two federal complaints, one against the Teamsters for allegedly blocking Aubuchon's resignation and another against Medic One Ambulance for allegedly threatening to fire him, were filed by the NRTW on Aubuchon's behalf at the National Labor Relation Board Region 14 office in St. Louis.
"Without right-to-work, employees who exercise their freedoms under longstanding labor laws are bullied, have illegal dues seized from them, lose their jobs, and are sometimes not even permitted to notify their fellow workers of their rights," Mix said in the press release.