Teamsters Local 214 President Joseph Valenti said in a story reported by the MIRS news service that most grievances filed by the workers his union represents are "frivolous."

Valenti was responding to a lawsuit filed by the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation over the Teamsters union charging $150 to file a grievance for former members who left the union by exercising the right-to-work law rights. The workers no longer pay dues or fees, but are still forced to be represented by the union in collective bargaining because unions asked for, and received, exclusive representation of all workers in a business that has been unionized.

"They want it both ways," Valenti told MIRS. "They want to file their grievances, most of which are frivolous, and then they want us to pay..."

Valenti didn’t respond to a phone message left at his office.

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Valenti’s comments highlight the dilemma for people who have to rely on the union for representation, said F. Vincent Vernuccio, director of labor policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

"This is the union leader tasked with protecting his members and the members who are forced to accept his protection," Vernuccio said. "His comments show that paying or not, they cannot rely on adequate representation. You would never hear an attorney say his client's action is frivolous. But of course an attorney has competition, unlike the union."

Maria Santiago-Powell is one of the former Teamsters Local 214 members who left the union and no longer pay dues. She works for the city of Dearborn and was one of the members who filed the lawsuit against the union.

"Wow, the total membership should hear this," Santiago-Powell said in an email. "And people wondered why we wanted out. … I never felt I would get their support anyway."

Teamsters Local 214 was almost voted out in favor of another union, said Shawn Koskyn, a former union member who works for the city of Dearborn and also is part of the lawsuit.

"What he said is par for the course," Koskyn said in an email. "The Teamsters just survived a very close election where they almost were replaced by a different union because of that exact attitude toward the workers that pay him with their money."

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See also:

Lawsuit Filed Against Teamsters For Extra Fee Imposed On Right-to-Work Employees

Michigan Capitol Confidential Right-to-Work Coverage

Right-to-Work: The Form to be Free

Taylor Teachers Oppose 'Insecurity Clause' Following Right-to-Work


Related Articles:

Union Should Secure the Retirement of Their Members

Another Judge Upholds Teachers’ Right-to-Work Status; Faults Union’s Tactics

Uber May Be Opening Door for 21st Century Unionization

State Supreme Court Ruling: State Employees are Free to Exercise Right-to-Work

Michigan Supreme Court Upholds Right-to-Work for State Employees

Nation’s First Hearing on Worker’s Choice Bill Happens Tuesday

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A “bottlenecker” is someone who uses the power of the government to limit competition in the market and artificially boost their own profits. Bottleneckers use a variety of methods to achieve their goals, including tax loopholes, regulations, occupational licensing requirements, minimum wage laws and many more. The end result when these special interest bottleneckers succeed is fewer choices and higher prices for consumers, fewer job opportunities for workers and less innovation throughout the economy.

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