York County union complaint has right-to-work overtone

October 26. 2012 12:00PM - Last modified: October 26. 2012 12:07PM

Jim T. Ryan

The National Labor Relations Board in Philadelphia will hear a complaint in January from two York County bus drivers who allege Teamsters Local 776 in Harrisburg was charging nonunion members more dues than members, and the case could be significant for right-to-work advocates in the state.

LeeAnn Schorner and Brenda Wiseman, two nonunion drivers for bus company Durham School Services in Spring Grove, allege the Teamsters continued to charge nonunion members full dues during inactive months, even though union members were allowed reduced dues for the same times, according to the complaints filed with the NLRB on June 22.

Durham School Services is an Illinois-based outsourced bus-driving company that manages transportation for the Spring Grove Area School District.

"Teamster Local 776 union bosses are illegally targeting school bus drivers who want nothing to do with the union," said Patrick Semmens, vice president for public information at the Virginia-based National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which is representing Schorner and Wiseman.

Unions can charge nonunion employees dues for collective bargaining representation, but not for peripheral union activities, according to the foundation. And dues can be reduced when employees are inactive, such as in the case of school bus drivers, it said.

The women also allege the union failed to provide the bus drivers with a breakdown of how their dues were spent as required by law, according to the complaints.

Teamsters Local 776 officials and attorneys did not immediately return calls for comment.

A hearing in front of an administrative law judge is scheduled for Jan. 16, according to the NLRB.

The National Right to Work foundation is promoting the case as an example of why Pennsylvania needs a right-to-work law that establishes voluntary unionism and prevents forced dues on nonmembers. That would prevent similar cases and protect worker rights, the foundation said.


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