Labor Law – Union Shop – Discharge of Employee for Refusal to Accept Union Membership

An employee tendered dues and initiation fee to the union which had a union shop contract with her employer. The union then wrote her a letter welcoming her into membership. She replied that although she had tendered dues and initiation fee she was not joining the union. The union thereupon requested her employer to discharge her pursuant to the provisions of their union shop agreement signed under the 1951 amendment to the Railway Labor Act. After going through the regular grievance procedure the matter came before the arbitrator for .final settlement. Held, the union was entitled to demand the employee’s discharge. The proviso to section two, eleventh of the Railway Labor Act as amended in 1951 [which was intended to be similar to provisos (A) and (B) to section 8 (a) (3) of Title I of the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947] protects an employee from discharge under a union shop agreement only when the union denies membership. The proviso does not apply when the employee specifically refuses to join the union even though she tenders the requisite dues and initiation fee. Pan American World Airways, Inc., 20 Lab. Arb. Rep. 312 (1953).