Freedom Foundation

California’s victory streak continues

Janus only applies to nonmembers, claimed Juan Delgado, a Teamsters 1932 representative.

Delgado was responding to William Berrigan, a San Bernardino County employee who sent the union an opt-out letter in July – a few weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court in Janus v. AFSCME ruled that government employees could no longer be forced to pay union dues or fees.

By coincidence, Teamsters 1932 made it practically impossible to become a nonmember in the first place, so if Delgado’s claim that Janus only applies to nonmembers were true, Janus wouldn’t change anything for San Bernardino County employees.

The contract or memorandum of understanding between the county and Teamsters, stated that employees who wished to be nonmembers must still pay an amount of fees to Teamsters 1932 that is equal to the required dues.

Therefore, it was pointless to object to union dues prior to Janus.

Additionally, one could not resign a Teamsters 1932 membership while the contract was in place, a period of four years, from 2015 to 2019.

If anyone deviated from Teamsters’ strict policies, they could lose their job. The contract proclaimed that “…the failure of any Unit member covered by the Article to remain a member in good standing of Teamsters or to pay the equivalent of Teamsters dues during the term of this Agreement shall constitute, generally, just and reasonable cause for termination.”

Under its fabricated definition of Janus, the union manipulated its way into receiving money from unwilling workers indefinitely. That is, until the Freedom Foundation stepped in.

Freedom Foundation attorneys sent a letter to Teamsters 1932 on July 23 and threatened to sue if Teamsters 1932 did not get its policies straight and refund Mr. Berrigan for the dues wrongfully collected.

On Aug. 6, a law firm retained by the union responded to the Freedom Foundation’s letter and alleged that “Mr. Berrigan was never told he could not resign his membership in Local 1932 without terminating his employment with the County of San Bernardino.”

The statement by the Teamsters’ lawyer sounds plausible, but it’s simply not true. Not only did Mr. Delgado express to Mr. Berrigan those very words, but the contract between San Bernardino County and Teamsters is proof of Teamsters’ position.

The letter continued by stating, “Mr. Berrigan is not now a member and will receive all his dues deducted since his request to withdraw.”

And in true union style, the letter threw in a phrase about the “so-called Freedom Foundation.”

Thanks to the Freedom Foundation legal team, William Berrigan is freed from paying union dues and will receive a refund for every penny that was wrongfully taken from his wages.