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Is it posible to sue the union you are a member of for not representing you and protecting you as a member.

Homestead, FL |

I am the least senior member; the union contract states that the distribution of over time will be distributed equally. It also states that the least senior person will be forced to work the overtime if it is not accepted by some one on the overtime list. As it turns out no one accepting the over time cause me to be forced to work the overtime and this creates an unequal distribution of the over time. The contract also states that if an inequality exists it can be addressed to the Union business agent and the company Director of Union relations. I have taken this action and waiting on a reply. I expect the union to say that their is no need to make any change to the present way of doing business because it provides a benifit to the most senior members.

Attorney Answers 1


The union owes its members a duty of "fair representation." The duty of fair representation differs from the duty a lawyer owes his client: The lawyer owes the client a duty of undivided loyalty; the duty of the union toward the member is always divided, because the union has to look out for the whole, and the individual member may get shafted if the union decides it's in the interest of the whole to overlook something the individual member is complaining about. They can't treat you arbitrarily, or refuse to process your grievance, but the nature of the duty owed is a divided one, because it's the union that bargains with management to reach an agreement which binds ALL union members, not just you.

I'm not licensed to practice law in Florida so don't take what I say here as legal advice. It's simply my analysis of the facts you present in light of general principles of law, for the purpose of educating. If you need legal advice, please consult a lawyer who holds Florida licensure.

Good luck.

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