Lexington, Ky. Firefighters File Suit to Recover Confiscated Dues

The U.S. Supreme Court for nearly 30 years consistently has held that workers who pay dues or fees to a union have a right to withhold the portion of their payment going toward activities unrelated to collective bargaining.  This principle, as the Court made clear in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education and Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson, applies to public-sector as well as private-sector employees.  City officials of Lexington, Ky. see their instance as an exception.  They’re joining forces with a local firefighters’ union to make sure nonunion fee payers aren’t eligible for a refund.


On June 22, seven nonunion Lexington firefighters filed a civil-rights suit in U.S. District Court alleging that International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 526 illegally confiscated fees from their paychecks without due process.  The suit also names Lexington Mayor Teresa Isaac and other City officials for signing and enforcing the agreement with Read More ➡

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Cleveland Boss Gets 18 Months for $144,900 Theft

U.S. Dist. Judge Donald Nugent (N.D. Ohio, Clinton) sentenced Richard Adams Apr. 19 to 18 months in federal prison for stealing $144,939.46 in union funds and donations, including money collected for the family of a slain police officer. Adams, who was the treasurer of Int’l Ass’n of Fire Fighters Local 639 in Parma, Ohio, for 13 years, often told members that their money was safe and earning 13% interest in bank accounts. Instead, Adams looted the local’s accounts for his own purposes and left the local $12,000 in debt when he was ousted in Dec. 2000.

Local 639 president Nick Kashi told Nugent that the local could have fulfilled dreams but for Adams. “Would we own a union hall today to hold our meetings, children’s Christmas parties and other union-sponsored events to raise money for local charities and public relations events? The possibilities are almost endless. We will never know … Read More ➡

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Ohio Boss Accused of Taking $145,000

In Dec. 2000, ex-treasurer of Int’l Ass’n of Fire Fighters Local 639, Richard Adams, resigned suddenly when the local’s bank accounts came up some $143,000 short. He then paid $65,000 in partial restitution for funds he allegedly embezzled from the Parma, Ohio based local since 1987.  Then on Jan. 17, Adams was charged with one count of federal bank fraud. The U.S. Atty.’s Office in Cleveland said Adams once made a $3,139 house payment with a union check. But, according to the Dep’t of Labor, the union embezzlement totaled $144,939.46 and final restitution will be based on that amount. Because of a loophole in federal labor labor, a federal union embezzlement charge could not be brought since Local 639 is a public sector union.

Despite the local’s request that the matter be resolved internally, Parma Law Director Tim Dobeck called in the FBI and DOL to investigate in Feb. 2001. … Read More ➡

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Tennessee’s Mandatory Dues Deduction Law Struck Down

U.S. Dist. Judge Bernice Donald ruled May 11 that a Tennessee law requiring the mandatory deduction of dues for members of firefighters’ unions was ruled unconstitutional. Donald granted a motion for summary judgment by the City of Germantown, Tenn., in which the City argued mandatory deduction violated the equal protection provisions of the U.S. and Tennessee constitutions.

In Sept. 1998, Int’l Ass’n of Firefighters Local 3858 requested the City recognize the union and deduct dues from firefighters’ wages.  The City’s refused to recognize the local or deduct dues.  The City also rejected several additional requests for recognition, including one from IAFF’s general counsel.  Local 3858 sued claiming that the City violated the mandatory deduction law.

One provision of the law exempted counties with certain population ranges. The counties were not specified, the legislative history of the law reflected that state legislators intended to exempt five of Tenn.’s 95 counties. The … Read More ➡

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Union Soft Money Contributions, July 1999 – Jan. 2000

Corrupt unions have showered Democratic Party committees with soft money.  The Am. Fed’n of State, County & Mun. Employees (AFSCME) has led the way — not only among corrupt unions, but it also led among all soft money givers. This election cycle, AFSCME has already contributed $1.5 million in soft money.

                    DNC          DSCC          DCCC
AFSCME:   $245,000    $300,000     $400,000
CWA:          $350,000     —                $200,000
SMW:          $150,000     $50,000      $125,354
IBEW:         $80,000      $100,000     $125,000
SEIU:          $15,000      —                  $250,000
UFCW:       $45,000      $25,000       $100,000
NEA:           $50,000      —                  $51,000
NTEU:        $40,000      $10,000       $50,000
UBC:          —                  —                 $100,000
AFT:           $25,000      $35,000        $35,000
UAW:          —                $35,000        $45,000
UNITE:      $30,000        —                 $25,000
IAM:           —                  —                 $50,000
NALC:        —                  —                 $50,000
IAFF:          $40,000       —                  —
TWU:          —                 —                  $35,000
Totals:         $1,070,000  $555,000     $1,641,354
Source: Soft Money Update, FECInfo – Netivation.com

Abbreviations: DNC: Democratic Nat’l Committee; DSCC: Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; DCCC: Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; CWA: Communications Workers of Am.; … Read More ➡

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