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June 26, 2012

Union rather than officers or board members to acknowledge it does not assert the right to violate the Taylor Law


Union rather than officers or board members to acknowledge it does not assert the right to violate the Taylor Law
New York City Tr. Auth. v Transport Workers Union of Am., AFL-CIO, 55 AD3d 699

Supreme Court [see 18 Misc.3d 414] issued an order conditioning the reinstatement of the Transport Workers Union’s right to payroll deductions for union dues from the paychecks of their members employed by the New York City Transit Authority by requiring affidavits from the President and each individual member of the Executive Board of Local 100 of Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO, stating that “the Union does not assert the right to strike against any government, to assist or participate in any such strike, or to impose an obligation to conduct, assist, or participate in such a strike, and that the Union has no intention, now or in the future, of conducting, assisting, participating, or imposing an obligation to conduct, assist, or participate in any such strike, or threatening to do so, against the [Transit Authority] or any governmental employer.”

The Union appealed and the Appellate Division modified the lower court’s order “on the facts and in the exercise of discretion, by requiring “the Union submit a duly-authorized affirmation stating unequivocally that the Union does not assert the right to strike against any government, to assist or participate in any such strike, or to impose an obligation to conduct, assist, or participate in such a strike, and that the Union has no intention, now or in the future, of conducting, assisting, participating, or imposing an obligation to conduct, assist, or participate in any such strike, or threatening to do so, against the [Authority] or any governmental employer” rather than require the Union’s president and board members to so state.

The Appellate Division explained that the Civil Service Law Article 14, [the Taylor Law], prohibits public employees and public employee organizations from engaging in, or causing, instigating, encouraging, or condoning, a strike and in the event this prohibition is violated, the Public Employment Relations Board or the Supreme Court may order the forfeiture of the organization's right to have union dues automatically deducted from the paychecks of its members.

However, said the court, the Supreme Court improvidently exercised its discretion in requiring that each member of the Union's Executive Board submit an affidavit containing the same statement that the Union does not assert the right to violate the Taylor Law. Reinstating the automatic deduction should depend, not only on the Union's full compliance with the appropriate orders of the court but “also on its willingness to state that it has no intention of engaging or supporting illegal strikes now or in the future.”

Accordingly, it is the Union, rather than its officers or board members, which is required to undertake this obligation.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2008/2008_07887.htm

See, also, MTA Bus Co. v Transport Workers Union of Am., AFL-CIO, 55 AD3d 695, decided the same by the Appellate Division, Second Department concerning the same issue. The text of the MTA decision is posted on the Internet at:
thttp://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2008/2008_07883.htm

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