Unions and Labor

Union looks to settle with workers over right-to-work issue

May 17, 2013

A local union charged with violating Indiana’s right-to-work law is looking to settle with six workers who say their dues were improperly collected.

William Groth, who represents Graphic Communications International Local 17M, said he anticipates a settlement in the National Labor Relations Board case brought against the union, as well as Montreal-based Domtar Paper Co., which produces business forms in Indianapolis.

But there could be disagreement about when the law should take effect on the union’s contract, and how much the workers are owed. The National Right to Work Foundation, which helped the local workers file their unfair labor practice charges, said that since the union’s contract with Domtar expired March 15, the dues collection should have stopped then.

Groth said the contract remained in effect until a new one was ratified on April 30, and he believes that should have been the cut-off date.

Timing is one issue that the National Labor Relations Board will have to deal with in Indiana right-to-work cases, Groth said. “There will be some disputes that arise because the law wasn’t drafted with crystal clarity,” he said.

Groth didn’t know how much Graphic Communications charges in dues, but he said, “We’re talking about very small sums of money here.”

The six workers who filed unfair labor practice charges May 6 are Broatus Lambert, Lawrence Langworth, Christopher McKay, Kenneth Rosenfeld, Kevin Schrader and William Schwier.

Domtar was named in the May 6 charge because the company collects the dues, while the local union accepts the money.

Domtar employs more than 10,000 workers in North America. Its location at 6461 Saguaro Court in Indianapolis converts paper into business forms and other standard sizes and employs 75 people, about three-quarters of whom are represented by the union, spokesman Craig Timm said.
 

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