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Thread: Suing my Union

  1. #1
    roachmj is offline Junior Member
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    Suing my Union

    I am in Wisconsin and have a question about suing my union. I am a State employee so the NLRB does not apply to me. My union is generally a lap dog for the state and there is a provision of our last contract that I am afraid they are not going to attempt to enforce. I want to sue them for not representing my interests, but I'm not sure how to go about that.

    I also don't have a lot of money to spend on a lawyer but was hoping there might be an anti-union group out there that wouldn't mind taking on a public employees union.
  2. #2
    manderson3 is offline Junior Member
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    Suing my Union

    undefinedOklahoma. This is not free advice. Only ramdom thoughts. Why would you want to sue yourself ? Does your state not have some form of public employees relation board ? Whats your definition of "my" Union ? If it's "your" Union are you the lap dog ? Or is the Union the lap dog ?

    Does your Union have some form of leadership ? Or maybe someone elected to lead ? And if so could it be you ? If there is some sort of provision in "our" contract does that mean there are other you's ? Can they sue "your" Union ?

    If you(s) have a provision in our(s) last contract did both parties negotiate the provision ? Is "your" contract binding ? If both the state and your Union agreed to the provision why does your Union have to enforce it ? Cant the state just do what they agreed to do ?

    You want to sue them because they dont represent your interest. But you dont know how. Ever thought of getting with all those other you's and leading ? Does sueing take less effort than leading ? How in the world can you not know how to go about sueing when you know you dont have enough money to hire a lawyer ? How did you know you needed a lawyer ?

    There is one way to get the money for you to sue your Union. Dont pay your dues. That way if they dont represent an interest it wont matter if you didn't pay for it, it's not your's anyway. Unless you want something for nothing. Maybe you do. Is that why you are hoping for someone to find you a group

    If you find some group to take on your Union can they take them on for free ? If not will you be willing to help them pay some of their cost to sue your Union ? Since you will no longer be paying dues you will have the money to help them cover some of their cost.

    One last thing you may need to ask these folks. If they find you this group that will take on your Union because your Union wont make the state do something they agreed to do, and if the group is not able to punish your union. will you need to find someone to sue the anti- Union group ?

    I dont know maybe you should just find yourself another job were you wont be faced with not being represented.
  3. #3
    roachmj is offline Junior Member
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    Response to manderson3. Yes it's my union. Yes I've tried the leadership route. It's a board of about 16 and when you've got 13 or 14 that want to go along to get along, it isn't much use to be the vocal minority. Our negotiators settled early (we have 16 state employee unions in WI) and as part of the settlement signed something called a "me too" clause that states if another union settling later gets better general wages or better benefits then we get it too. Well that happened on paying for health insurance. Now our union has to step forward and force the state to give us the difference between what we paid and what the other union is going to pay.

    Will the state just do it? Puh-lease. They won't do anything unless we hold their feet to the fire. From what I've gathered talking to our union leadership is that they won't hold the state's feet to the fire. As far as an arbitration board, from what I've seen in our state statutes it only applies to disagreement between state and official bargaining entity. I am neither.

    I guess I thought this was forum for serious discussions of real issues. I also guess I was wrong.
  4. #4
    manderson3 is offline Junior Member
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    Suing my Union

    [FONT=Garamond]oklahoma
    If my tone seemed hateful I will offer to you my apology. But please, dont think I was not being serious in the point I was attempting to make. Though not very well.Which is. Why would you sue the Union and make them spend dues money? Your dues money.

    If your Union is structured like most, the rank and file should be the ultimate authority.Sounds like your board is pretty large, but surely they dont out number the number of members in the bagaining unit. I understand what you are saying about the majority of the board, and how they over ride the minority of the board.

    But if in fact they are selling out, by not holding the states feet to the fire, I think that the members by virtue of the fact they in the end controll the board, could stand up,and should stand up and hold the board accountable for thier actions or lack of.

    If not file charges against them through the parent body and have them removed from office.Then replace them with a board of bulldogs not lapdogs make the system work from within. In the end your union would be stronger and have some extra money in the bank.
    Last edited by manderson3; 07-11-2005 at 10:44 PM. Reason: spelling
  5. #5
    roachmj is offline Junior Member
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    Oh, I agree the members should stand up. But if there's a more apathetic bunch in the country I'd be surprised. That's part of the problem. The leadership is mostly old guard from the forming of the union 16 years ago. They cry and moan about wanting new blood, but when the new blood comes in (like myself) they expect them to be quiet and go along. Any new ideas, any thoughts of activism, immediately get shot down. I honestly don't know why, but you can count on about 5 - 6 new people every two years that sign on with enthusiasm only to become disillusioned and cynical in a hurry.

    Essentially, I'm looking for a way to kick them in the a** and let them know at least a few people are paying attention to what they do or don't do.
  6. #6
    manderson3 is offline Junior Member
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    Good luck to you I hope you get thier attention.
  7. #7
    strongpuma is offline Junior Member
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    Unions are not acting like unions

    Roachmj,

    I agree with you 100%. I had paid union fees for nine years for nothing. At the end, they will represent you only if they like you. At least that's how it is where I work, the USPS.

    The local Union President has always been a good friend of the Postmaster. The president even hosted the Postmaster's birthday party in her own house. They were also seen together in a movie theater, and three members asked the president to resign because of conflict of interest, but not surprise, she said no.

    Another steward at work is also going to bars and parting with supervisors. He does help most people, but he won't if he doesn't like somebody. What's more; he'd make things worse for the few he dislikes

    Last June, the union president turned in my email she said she considered "threatening," and the USPS sent me to administrative leave and then to suspension because of what she said I did. My statements in those emails were taken totally out of context. Management decided to manipulate them too to bring me unfair accusations.

    What really happened? the union president was furious about the fact I had asked her to resign (in a meeting in which I was not involved and inf fact I didn't even know bout in June). Then, just ONE DAY (June 26) before she turned those "threatening emails" to management, I had also asked the union to ASK (not to fire) two union stewards to voluntarily resign because of conflicts of interest, unethical behavior and living disorganized lifes (one steward, for example, had three DUIs or driving under influence, which is considered a felony in Iowa).

    Perhaps I shouldn't have asked the President to ask two stewards to resign, but I just followed my conscience in that night. I do have the right to disagree. If she had chosen to just ignore my request, I wouldn't have been surprised anyway.

    So what happened in June 27? She came out with these two 3-month-old emails, where she got two statements completely out of context to get me in trouble.

    In part of what she did, and also because of years of management harassment (like sending a supervisor to make it very difficult for me to go inside the work the last day I went to work) , I decide to quit.

    So let me say here, I've seen TOO MUCH HYPOCRISY and double standards with unions. It seems that bad people is the rule, although I should also recognize that at least a few union stewards seem to be there to really help others and not themselves.

    Have anybody of you heard the case "Eliserio v. United Steelworkers of Am. Local 310"??? The behavior of a union official was DISGUSTING.

    They got mad because a Hispanic guy (Eliserio) complained about another employee who had calling him "Taco Bob," a term that he considered offensive. The guy who was fired was later rehired, then a union chairman distributes "No Rat" stickers.

    There was also evidence that the union was involved with drawing graffiti consisted of drawings of rats labeled "Ratelserio" or "Ratserio" and the phrase "a woman gave birth to a taco shaped turd and she named him Bob." These are clearly racist names., and so what the union authorities said?

    One union VIP said that before, "Eliserio didn't mind to be called Taco Bob." The local chairman said that the stickers he distributed (calling Eliserio a Rat) "were meant as a general disincentive to employees from making petty complaints to Firestone." But it was clear that this was an endorsement to graffiti with racial names.

    THESE ACTIONS ARE WHAT IS GOING TO BRING THE UNION DOWN. Instead of complaining about lower member numbers and planning big parties and picnics, the union should go back to the basics: PROTECTING EVERY SINGLE EMPLOYEE FROM MANAGEMENT --NOT ONLY THOSE THEY LIKE.

    In my case, the highest authority of the local union was not only socializing with management, which is clearly a conflict of interest, but she also helped them to get rid of me.

    I used to vote Democrat all the time (with the exception of an extraordinary Independent Republican in Iowa, Jim Leach); however, after this, I will not vote Democrat again, or at least I will not do so automatically. I really think that the unions are really totally OUT OF TOUCH with the problems the little guys face. They need to change --and change fast!


    StrongPuma
    Last edited by strongpuma; 08-10-2005 at 09:50 PM.
  8. #8
    Santa Clause is offline Junior Member
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    Suing and still suing

    First fo all the Department of Labor is suppose to govern unions.

    You can bring actions via the internal union processes, don't beleive they will work for you if you are hated, but law requires you to give the union the right to self correct.

    The Department of Labor is requesting that union members tell them what kind of rules and regulations should govenr union behavior.

    Like a union official will be in violation of the fiduciary duty towards you if they deliberately drop your case at the request fo the agency.

    Go to [url]www.dol.gov[/url], the request for comments number is RIN 1215-AB52
    the e-mail to submitt comments os
    [email]OLMS-REGS-1215-AB52@dol.gov[/email].

    You also want to go to findlaw.com and get into the U.S. Supreme Court web-site and look up the case VACA v. Sipes. It give you an idea of what you will be looking at.

    If your union handles both government employees and private employees in their representation you can sue them. But see if the Department of Labor will do it for you first. I have more information if you need it.
  9. #9
    khvair is offline Junior Member
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    struggle

    I myself am still using the union but we know that the union is in coohoots with management and so on corporation. My very good advice to you will be send your paper work to:

    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
    and the Divison of Human Rights

    and the most important will be the The right to work defense league.

    Good luck and have all your document sent to all 3 places.

    I did the research so far and waiting for the Right to work defense league, if the union fail me.
  10. #10
    uneekname is offline Junior Member
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    [QUOTE=Santa Clause;1110255]First fo all the Department of Labor is suppose to govern unions.

    You can bring actions via the internal union processes, don't beleive they will work for you if you are hated, but law requires you to give the union the right to self correct.

    The Department of Labor is requesting that union members tell them what kind of rules and regulations should govenr union behavior.
    Like a union official will be in violation of the fiduciary duty towards you if they deliberately drop your case at the request fo the agency."





    I would like any information that you may have please. I work for a railroad union and my brothers and I are getting the raw end of the deal.
    Our carrier is violating our other unions collective bargaining agreement, which in turn puts hundreds out of jobs. With the other union's brethren not being affected by this they will not do anything. So myself and others have gotten together to file a grievance through our local chairman to go to arbitration about this violation. It seems that we have exhausted everything we can do. It has been almost a year and still have not received word from the arbitrators. We are trying to find information on how to sue the carrier if not the other union for violation of collective bargaining agreements.
    Last edited by uneekname; 12-03-2009 at 04:09 PM.
  11. #11
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    first, this thread is like 4 years old so I suggest they have solved or accepted their problem and probable won't be back. Second, since you would some advice on your specific situation, you should start your own thread. Less confusion that way.
  12. #12
    KittyKatt007 is offline Junior Member
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    Angry suing the union

    Hello all.I just want to get feed back and advice on suing my union.Our council has came in several times to take over our local.This last time they stepped in to do the election,because they stated we were doing it wrong,we did it the same way for over 15years.People were nominated for pres,vice pres,e-board.I was nominated and was not given the chance to run for a position on the e-board.They picked and choose what rules to follow,and finaly informed us that they were not going to redo it ,reverting back to Roberts Rule.The story is to long to explain.I feel that I was discimanated against,not only my self ,but several other staff as well.So if any one out there has any ideas .please let me know.Its not about money,its about holding them accountable,we do not work for them,they work for us.
  13. #13
    eerelations is offline Senior Member
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    Do not hijack someone else's thread, especially when it's five years old.
  14. #14
    dumb third is offline Junior Member
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    it's not unions i hate; it's union officials!!

    brothers and sisters,

    thank you for the chance to hold forth.

    i know from whence i speak. i am [and have been since 1981....or maybe '82] a member-in-good-standing of District 1-PCD, MEBA [marine engineers beneficial association], a national labor association headquartered in washington, d.c., and most recently have come to be represented by Local UA486 Plumbers and Steamfitters in Baltimore, MD, where i work week-ends as a licensed boiler operator at a "monkey research laboratory" at the Bayview Research Center there.

    simply put, MOST union officials are ALWAYS guilty of something:

    mis-feasance
    non-feasance
    mal-feasance.

    it's as simple as that. the rarest kind of union official is the one who wakes up EVERY day and looks into the bathroon mirror and thinks to themselves:

    "WHAT CAN I DO TODAY TO MAKE BETTER THE LIVES OF THE MEMBERS??"

    if i may, i would like to illustrate my point. briefly [and, i am willing to be corrected on any of the particulars], in 2007 we [and historically, the participation rate in the elections hovers around fifty percent], the members of D1-PCD, MEBA, elevated a vice-president to be president. and, how did that guy re-pay the members?

    early in 2008, as one his first official responsibilities, he rightfully attended a trustees meeting in palm springs or palm beach or something. but, here's where, as they say, "....you couldn't make this stuff up!!"

    along the way, the night before, in the resort hotel room paid for by the union, he got himself thrown in jail overnight for "allegedly" cuffing around his wife and, rumor has it, needed a company trustee to post his bail. what does that suggest? does that put him "in the pocket" of the very people opposite whom he might sit at a contract bargaining table? as an aside, he got the felony charge reduced to a mis-demeanor so he couldn't necessarily be removed from office less than 90 days after taking his new job as president!!

    as homer simpson might say, "d-OH!!" i am

    fraternally,

    dumb third
    Last edited by dumb third; 12-21-2010 at 06:50 AM.
  15. #15
    eerelations is offline Senior Member
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    Oh PLEASE!!! How many times do we have to tell people to STOP HIJACKING OTHER PEOPLE'S THREADS!!!

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