News Story

West Michigan security guards push back against forced union dues

Workers pursue deauthorization vote

A group of security guards in West Michigan are looking to end their forced-fee arrangement with the union that represents them. 

A security guard named James Reamsma made a deauthorization filing last week to the National Labor Relations Board. Reamsma is backed in the effort by the National Right to Work Foundation. 

As the foundation explained in its announcement:

The worker-backed petition asks the NLRB to hold a “deauthorization vote,” in which a majority of employees in a work unit can cast ballots to nullify clauses in union contracts that require employees to pay union dues or fees to keep their jobs. Reamsma’s petition contains signatures well in excess of the threshold required to trigger such a vote.

The security guards work for a company called Triple Canopy, and the union is the United Government Security Guards of America.

Union officials “have threatened to have everyone who does not join the union fired,” Reamsma claimed in a statement.

Since Michigan’s repeal of right-to-work took effect last month, union membership can be required as a term of employment for private sector jobs, such as autoworkers and security guards.

During the decadelong right-to-work era, security guards could opt out from the union. Now they can’t. 

The next level up from deauthorizing a union is decertification, or workers voting to remove the union as their collective bargaining representative.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.