Teamsters suspect dues ripoff by employer

Related story: "The 28 labor-states"

Don't cheat the toll on toll-collectors

The Teamsters want to pry open the Massachusetts Turnpike’s books to make sure they’ve been getting as much money as called for in a union contract. The administrator for a Teamsters fund has sued the Turnpike to gain access to payroll records so that union Local 127 can determine if the Pike is setting aside enough money for its “legal services” program.

Under a recent contract, the Pike was to pay 12 cents to 15 cents for every hour worked by hundreds of Teamsters, up to 40 hours a week per union member.

A spokesman for the Turnpike said the authority is complying with the contract and contributed $165,000 to the union fund in fiscal 2008 and $205,000 in fiscal 2007. The Pike hasn’t reviewed the suit yet and couldn’t comment further, the spokesman said.

Matthew Dwyer, an attorney for the Teamsters, said the union isn’t accusing the cash-strapped Turnpike of underpaying into the fund. The union just wants to see the books to verify accounts - and the Turnpike won’t let it do so, he said.

Teamsters Local 127 represents about 500 toll collectors, maintenance workers, couriers, mechanics and other employees working at the Pike.


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