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Union Employee Sues Her Own Union

A union employee in San Diego has sued her own union over membership dues.

Karen Gomez, an employee of UNITE HERE Local 30, has filed federal charges against the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 537 for threatening her with termination for trying to refrain from paying union dues.

Gomez argues in the charges that she had the right to withhold union dues because federal case law allows private-sector workers to refrain from formal union membership.

Legal documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation stated that in September, “Gomez mailed a letter to local 537 in which she resigned union membership and exercised her rights under Communications Workers of America v. Beck to object to paying full union dues.”

However, OPEIU “rejected Ms. Gomez’s Beck objection, and to this date Local 537 continues to demand and charge her full union membership dues.”

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTW) said in a press release, “Even though an OPEIU Local 537 official acknowledged receipt of Gomez’s resignation letter, the union hierarchy did not recognize her membership resignation and continues to demand that she pay full union dues from her paychecks.”

NRTW, which fights compulsory union membership, has offered to represent Gomez in the case.

Gomez has sent a check for the full amount the union is asking for but marked it “paid under protest” in order to preserve her employment. Nevertheless, OPEIU Local 537 officials continued to urge UNITE HERE to fire Gomez.

TheDCNF could not reach UNITE HERE and OPEIU for comment.

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