Public employees can opt out of union membership and dues payments — it’s their First Amendment right to do so.
That’s exactly what Luis Granados, a public transit employee in California, had in mind this past April when he sent a letter to AFSCME 3993 requesting it terminate his membership and dues payments.
He was clear that his cancelation was effective immediately.
The union responded by stonewalling his request and piling on added requirements that were arbitrary and unnecessary.
A few days after he sent his letter, Mr. Granados received a voicemail message from his union president, Sal Cruz, stating that the two would have to meet and complete more forms before AFSCME 3993 would process his opt-out request.
Mr. Granados was surprised. His request was clear. More questioning was unnecessary. That’s when he enlisted the help of the Freedom Foundation, whose attorneys fired off a letter to Mr. Cruz, demanding that AFSCME 3993 process his opt-out immediately and refund the money deducted since April.
AFSCME 3993 responded by complying with each of the requests.
Thanks to Freedom Foundation, Mr. Granados received a copy of his dues authorization, his dues ceased and he received a refund.