Public-sector employees who enter the “playground” of the state are told by their purported defender, the union, that the playground bully is the employer.
But shortly after Linda — not her real name — started working for UC Davis Health, she quickly realized the playground bully was not her employer. Ironically, the bully was her union, Teamsters Local 2010, the folks who were supposed to be looking out for her in return for taking her money.
In 2001, Linda signed a membership application with Teamsters 2010 because, like many other employees, she was led to believe joining the union was mandatory. But after hearing about the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME, which banned mandatory union membership and dues in the public sector, she sent a letter to the union requesting it end her membership and stop deducting dues from her paycheck.
The Teamsters sent her a letter in return stating she could only opt out during a two-week annual window period.
The union attached a copy of the membership agreement for her reference.
Within seconds Linda realized the signature on the fake 2018 membership card in no way resembled her actual signature. She tried to confront her bully, her union, about the forged membership card.
The union, doing what bullies do best, deflected and ignored her requests.
With nowhere else to turn, Linda contacted the Freedom Foundation, and California attorney Mariah Gondeiro sent a demand letter on Linda’s behalf to Teamsters 2010. The union finally buckled when the Freedom Foundation got involved, and it offered to reimburse her for all the dues deducted from her paycheck since the June 2018, when Janus was decided.
“Up until the day I started working with the Freedom Foundation, I was battling the union on my own with no progression, becoming overwhelmed and frustrated at times with the unions games and lack of transparency,” Linda said. “But that all changed once I had the Freedom Foundation in my corner. They were able to get the union to agree to the terms I was requesting quickly and effectively.”
Linda is not the only person the Freedom Foundation has assisted with forged signatures. In fact, the Freedom Foundation is currently litigating five other union forgery cases in California and more than a dozen on the West Coast.