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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.
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Can a union take away a pension if they press charges that

Resolved Question:

Can a union take away a pension if they press charges that a union member was working for a non-union company?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 6 years ago.

MI-Lawyer :

Thank you for using JustAnswer!

MI-Lawyer :

Can you please clarify what this "trial" is about that starts on November 8?

JACUSTOMER-0ahbzmk0- :

The letter indicated that a "Trial" will be held at the Chicago District Council of Carpenters on November 9th. Sounds like a kangaroo court

MI-Lawyer :

And what is the trial for?

MI-Lawyer :

What are the allegations?

JACUSTOMER-0ahbzmk0- :

They are charging that I was in violation of the collective bargaining agreement by working for a non-union company. The business agents walked into to the company, unannounced, thru the dock door and found me standing in the warehouse. Not working....just standing there.

MI-Lawyer :

I see.

MI-Lawyer :

Well, as a general matter, the person is bound to the terms of the collective bargaining agreement for possible penality.

MI-Lawyer :

Frequently, the penalty is a fine.

JACUSTOMER-0ahbzmk0- :

the goal is to threaten to take away my pension....or organize my employer to become union

MI-Lawyer :

It may be possible, however, to go after the pension.

MI-Lawyer :

The devil is in the details and those details are found in the language used in the collective bargaining agreement.

MI-Lawyer :

As a general matter, when you are a part of a union, you agree to certain terms.

MI-Lawyer :

When you follow those terms, you enjoy certain benefits.

MI-Lawyer :

If you/employee do not follow those terms, then there is a breach and benefits may be withheld/penalties imposed.

JACUSTOMER-0ahbzmk0- :

The union is a non-hiring hall. They will not find you a job. You have to find your own. The electrical union is a hiring hall. You go down there and they place you in job sites. The carpenter union is not allowing me to have a job and feed my family

MI-Lawyer :

I understand.

MI-Lawyer :

It's a complaint I hear a lot.

MI-Lawyer :

It's like you are placed in the impossible position.

MI-Lawyer :

With the economy being so bad, more employees feel that they have no choice but to take non-union jobs.

MI-Lawyer :

And then the union cracks down on them.

JACUSTOMER-0ahbzmk0- :

I plan to attend the "trial" with a local attorney (once I find one) to represent me and got get railroaded

JACUSTOMER-0ahbzmk0- :

I've never heard that a union can take away something that is rightfully mine.

MI-Lawyer :

Make sure you have a copy of your collective bargaining agreement with you.

MI-Lawyer :

And a copy of your union bylaws.

MI-Lawyer :

If you don't have them right now, you should be demanding to be provided a copy so that you can study them well before the trial.

JACUSTOMER-0ahbzmk0- :

They are not to cooperative in providing a current copy of the bylaws

MI-Lawyer :

You're entitled to them.

JACUSTOMER-0ahbzmk0- :

I plan to kick the can down the road and tell them that I am our of the area until November 15th and that I cannot attend. This will give me more time to get the bylaws and have a local attorney read them

MI-Lawyer :

Good plan.

MI-Lawyer :

Is there anything else that I can assist you with?

JACUSTOMER-0ahbzmk0- :

I just wanted to find out if you ever heard of a union taking away a pension.

MI-Lawyer :

Yes, I have. It's the most extreme.

MI-Lawyer :

It's like a person getting fired for gross misconduct.

JACUSTOMER-0ahbzmk0- :

how much proof do they need to have? Smoking gun standing over the body or just hear-say eveidence?

MI-Lawyer :

They don't need a smoking gun.

MI-Lawyer :

This is not a criminal trial.

MI-Lawyer :

They don't need proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

JACUSTOMER-0ahbzmk0- :

their rules apply

MI-Lawyer :

Yes.

JACUSTOMER-0ahbzmk0- :

I suppose, if they do take away the pension, then I go to a real court to get them back

MI-Lawyer :

Your attorney can better advise you on that after they've had a chance to read your documents.

JACUSTOMER-0ahbzmk0- :

Thanks for your help

MI-Lawyer :

......and participated in the trial to see what the allegations/proof is.

MI-Lawyer :

You bet.

MI-Lawyer :

Good luck and best wishes! I hope that you find this information to be helpful and this answer to be ACCEPTable!

MI-Lawyer :

If you are satisfied with the provided information, you can select ACCEPT to close this thread.

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