UAW local 412 tells members to not work with their colleagues
Local 412 of the United Auto Workers has placed a spotlight on employees who have chosen to exercise their right to not support the union financially under Michigan’s right-to-work law. In a recent newsletter, the local urges co-workers not to share “tools, knowledge or support” with individuals who chose not to pay union dues.
It then lists the names of the employees to be shunned.
“I hope there is one thing we can all take from this,” the newsletter reads. “Please do not share any tools, knowledge or support for any of these employees who choose not to pay their fair share.”
Jeff Hagler, president of the UAW Local 412 Region 1, and Michael Hayes, vice president of the union, did not respond to an email seeking comment.
In response to the right-to-work law, unions in many workplaces have resorted to publicly posting the names of employees who choose not to become members. Local 412 appears to be the first to urge employees in a unionized workplace to shun their fellow workers who have opted out.
The union local has actually gone one step further. In the same newsletter, it states that if individuals who choose not to belong to the union change their minds later, they will have to pay all union dues levied during the time they have been employed without paying, as an “initiation fee.” Moreover, they would only be allowed to make this election in the month of March or August.
“Is the UAW really advising its members to not give advice or share tools with a co-worker that could prevent an accident or make a job less dangerous?” asked F. Vincent Vernuccio, the director of labor policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. “If the UAW is willing to sacrifice safety for their own profit then workers may need to do more than just opt out, they may need a new union.”