Guam – 7 Alutiiq school bus drivers tried twice to file a misdemeanor criminal complaint against the Guam Federation of Teachers and its President Matt Rector. Both times officers at the Haganta Police Precinct rejected the complaint telling the drivers finally to come back later and hand-write the complaint in their own words.
The 7 drivers are among 40 employed by Alutiiq to provide school bus service to the Department of Defense schools.
They charge that a “security” clause in their contract requires them to be members of the Guam Federation of Teachers which, they say, makes it a closed shop agreement. Guam has a right-to-work law which means employees are not required to join a union if they choose not to.
Each driver had a copy of a complaint drawn up former GFT member Robert Koss with the assistance of Attorney Daniel Somerfleck.
The Complaint states:
On or about October 1, 2008 and continuing to present, GFT Union, by and through its President Matt Rector and Albert Perez, Chairman for the Alutiiq School Bus Drivers Unit negotiated and entered into an illegal contract with Alutiiq International Solutions, Inc. on behalf of its School Bus Drivers that states:
Union Security Clause
All employees covered by this agreement, where applicable by law, shall as a condition of employment, become and remain a member of the union. The union shall indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Company against any and all claims or liabilities arising out of the administration of the Article.
[The complaint also cited the local law which is reprinted below.]
Ed Quintanilla, who spoke for the drivers this morning [Tuesday] said that when they first went inside the Precinct to file their complaint they were turned away and told to take their complaint to the Legislature or file it with the Department of Labor.
The drivers then went to Attorney Somerfleck’s office who, they say, proceeded to call officials ar GPD Headquarters in Tiyan and subsequently the drivers returned to the Hagatna Precinct, accompanied by Robert Koss, and tried to file their complaint again.
Each of the drivers and Koss himself were called in for questioning. Quintanilla said during this second attempt, the officers objected to the fact that each of he drivers had the same, typed out complaint. He says they were told that they must file the complaint in their own handwriting and could not submitted the same typed out complaint that they all had.
Koss and Somerfleck declined comment saying that they were merely advising the drivers who would speak for themselves.
On the Patti on the Radio program this morning, Albert Perez, Union Chairman, or shop steward, for the 40 Alutiiq drivers said that the 7 drivers are a minority. “Only a few are complaining but the rest of the guys are satisfied with what we’re getting right now.” When asked what steps he or the union would take in response to the complaint the 7 drivers tried to file, Perez “We’ll see what happens,” adding that he would have to consult GFT’s legal counsel to deterime what the union’s response would be.
Perez acknowledged that Article Four is now a part of their contract, although he admitted that he was not aware at the time that the contract was negotiated that it was included. He also acknowledged that he was not aware that Guam had a right-to-work law.
Quintanilla and the other drivers complained that Perez does not represent them, they did not elect him. They said that Perez was appointed by GFT President Matt Rector.
Rector has not yet returned calls for comment.
The law cited by the drivers in their complaint is printed below:
Pursuant to Guam Right to Work Law set forth in 22 GCA Chapter 4, the above contractual agreement is illegal and constitutes a criminal act.
22 GCA Chapter 4 states (in relevant part):
§ 4102. Policy.
It is hereby declared to be the public policy of Guam that the right of persons to work shall not be denied or abridged on account of membership
or non-membership in any labor union or labor organization.
§ 4103. Unlawful Acts.
It shall be unlawful:
1) to require any employee, as a condition of employment, or of continuance of employment, to be or become or remain a member of affiliate of any labor organization or agency;
(2) to require any employee, as a condition of employment, or of continuance of employment, to abstain or refrain from membership in
any labor organization; or
(3) to require any employee, as a condition of employment, or of continuance of employment, to pay any fees, dues, assessments or
other charges or sums of money whatsoever to any person or organization.
§ 4105. Unlawful Agreements.
Any agreement…[ by] any labor organization whereby persons not members of such labor organization shall be denied the right to
work for such employer, or whereby such membership is made a condition of employment, or of continuance of employment by such employer, or whereby any such union or organization acquires an employment monopoly in any enterprise, is hereby declared to be against public policy, unlawful and an illegal combination or conspiracy.
§ 4106. Fee for Work Prohibited.
A labor union; labor organizer; or an officer, member, agent, or representative of a labor union may not collect, receive or demand, directly or indirectly, a fee as a work permit or as a condition for the privilege to work from a person who is not a member of the union.
§ 4109. Labor Organization Contract Violating Right to Work Provisions.
It shall be unlawful for any labor organization to enter into or seek to effect any agreement, contract or arrangement with any employer declared
to be unlawful by this Act.
§ 4110. Penalties.
Any labor organization or other person whomsoever who shall violate any provision of this Chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; and upon conviction thereof in any Court of competent jurisdiction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten (10), nor more than thirty
(30) days, or by a fine of not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) nor more than Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00), or by both, at the discretion
of the Court.
Now Therefore, as an employee of Alutiiq International Solutions, Inc. whom is affected and damaged by this unlawful action by GFT Union to implement this erroneous provision into the collective bargaining agreement that requires that I become and remain a dues paying member of the union as a condition of my employment, I am hereby officially bringing this formal criminal complaint against the GFT Union President Matt Rector and the GFT Chairman for the Alutiiq School Bus Drivers Union Albert Perez and further seek for the full enforcement of the law responsive to this complaint