My union (the Teamster) has a sleazy practice that I find utterly amazing. If a dues-paying member files a grievance against an employer and wins, the member can sometimes win a monetary settlement. However, they have to go through a union shop steward. Shop stewards with more seniority who process grievances can effectively claim them as their own and take the money for themselves. Some of them rake in thousands of dollars by letting other people file grievances, then taking the money for themselves.
I assume it's legal, because it's a routine practice and has been for years. However, I'd like to find out if there are any state or national laws that relate to this practice. I'd also like to find out if this is a practice other unions allow.
However, it's hard to know how to research it when I don't even know what this practice is called. Is there a legal term for this kind of racket?
I've observed this practice in Washington State, but it probably occurs in all fifty states.