My original title focused on the union, but I changed it to include the employer. They're both working hand in hand against the interests of the employees/dues-paying union members.
Imagine a Corporation (C) that's affiliated with a union (U). They agree on a contract that says extra work should go to more senior people. If the company needs to call people to work an extra shift, it is supposed to call the most senior people first.
However, the company blatantly ignores the contract, recruiting the LEAST senior people.
When an employee with seniority with high seniority files a grievance, C and U both lie, intimidate and stonewall. For example, the union claims the company won't give them its payroll records, making it impossible for them to know who worked when. And when the company finally hands the records over - three months later - the union won't let the grievance see the records.
The union also makes grievance jump through all kinds of hoops. If you file a grievance, you're expected to do all the detective work - cite a particular less senior worker, with details (time, date, location) and have it signed by a witness. The irony is that there could be a dozen less senior people who worked that day, a fact the payroll records could easily prove.
But the union refuses to go on a "fishing expedition."
Long story short, grievances are typically solved six to nine months after they're filed, and the grievants never expect to get more than about 30% of what they're owed.
The state Dept. of Labor says "contact the National Labor Board." The National Labor Board says a contract - and its interpretation - is between C and U; they can do whatever they want.
Is that really the end of the road, or is there some kind of legal or quasi-legal action one could take? If you know the company and union are both withholding information, lying, delaying payouts, etc., can you cite them for violating any particular laws? What about a union that "interprets" and enforces the contract two different ways, giving its cronies all their support while thumbing their nose at everyone else?
It appears that the only recourse would be legal action, but it's hard to determine whether any laws have been violated. Moreover, the employee can't afford to hire an attorney. Would this be case that the ACLU or some other organization might help with?