“Union Security. The Act permits, under certain conditions, a union and an employer to make an agreement, called a union-security agreement, that requires employees to make certain payments to the union in order to retain their jobs.” [Source: A Basic Guide to the National Labor Relations Act]
A Union (Income) Security Clause allows a union to collect union dues and fees from all employees covered by a union contract.
For example, if you worked at a unionized company and the union negotiated a union (income) security clause, the union could order you to be fired from your job if you refused to pay union dues (or "agency fees"). [Read more here.]
Note: While Union Income Security Clauses are currently unlawful in so-called Right-to-Work states, thereis pending legislation in Congress to eliminate Right-to-Work states.
If this occurs in 2009, all unionized employees in all 50 states can be required to pay union dues and fees as a condition of employment under a union income security clause. [For a listing of current Right-to-Work states where mandatory dues/agency fees as a condition of employment is unlawful, click here.]
Below is an example of a Union (Income) Security clause from an actual union contract:
ARTICLE 3 UNION SECURITY AND CHECK-OFF
All present employees who are members of the Union on the effective date of this Agreement shall remain members of the Union in good standing as a condition of employment. All present employees who are not members of the Union and all employees who are hired hereafter shall become and remain members in good standing of the Union as a condition of employment on and after the thirty-first (31st) day following the beginning of their employment or on or after the thirty-first (31st) day following the effective date of this Agreement, whichever is later. The failure of any person to become a member of the Union at the prescribed time shall obligate the Employer, upon written notice from the Union of such and, further, that Union membership was available to such person on the same terms and conditions generally available to other members, to forthwith discharge such person. Further the failure of any person to maintain his Union membership in good standing as required herein shall, upon written notice to the Employer by the Union to such effect, obligate the Employer to discharge such person.
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