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Union Cannot Deny Non-Union, Represented Worker's Right to Internal Appeal
Description Appeals court upheld NLRB determination that a union engaged in unfair labor practice by denying a represented worker, who was not a union member, the right to appeal an employment decision under the internal union appeal process.
Topic Labor Law
Key Words Unfair Labor Practice, Grievance
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Kirby, a non-union member represented by the UAW, was fired by Ford for misconduct. A grievance was filed on his behalf under the Ford-UAW collective bargaining agreement, but union officials failed to pursue the grievance to arbitration. Kirby protested the union's decision through an appeal to an internal union review process, which the union rejected. Kirby then filed an unfair labor practice charge against the union with the NLRB. The NLRB found for Kirby because the union refused to pursue his appeal due to his non-union membership status. The union appealed.
Decision Affirmed. "At bottom, this case involves a union rule that blatantly discriminates between members and non-members in the processing of grievances under the UAW-Ford contractual grievance/arbitration procedures." The union's failure to process Kirby's appeal denied him the possibility of being reinstated to his job. Since the union has exclusive authority to represent Kirby, its behavior toward him, for not being a union member, was discriminatory and coercive.
Citation International Union v. NLRB, -- F.3d -- (1999 WL 94801, D.C. Cir.)

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