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Kroger employee files charges to labor board over union membership, dues

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(The Center Square) – An Ohio Kroger employee says union officials threatened his job if he didn’t sign a union membership form, and the company illegally took union dues from his paycheck.

James Carroll, who works for Kroger in Fairfield, submitted charges against the union and Kroger to the National Labor Relations Board in Cincinnati with help from the National Right to Work Foundation, according to the foundation.

Carroll’s charge against Kroger is it illegally transferred dues money from his paycheck to the union.

Carroll says a United Food and Commercial Workers Local 75 union leader forced him to sign an illegal “dual purpose” membership form requiring just one employee signature for union membership and dues deductions.

According to the Right to Work Foundation, federal law requires union dues deduction to be voluntary and separate from a union membership application.

“Federal law protects the right of workers to make free choices about formal union membership and gives workers in non-right to work states like Ohio some ability to avoid paying for union politics and other union expenditures,” National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix said. “But union bosses bent on obtaining greater control over workers and their pocketbooks pose real-life obstacles to exercising these rights, as do complicit employers like Kroger. We’re proud to help Mr. Carroll defend his rights, but ultimately Ohio workers need the protection of a right to work law.”

The Right to Work Foundation said in a release that because Ohio is not a right-to-work state, union officials can impose contracts that force workers to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment, even if those employees are non-union members.

Union officials must also seek an employee’s consent before asking an employer to deduct dues. Also, forced dues amounts can’t be spent on political activity.

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