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AGO 1953 No. 457 - January 12, 1953
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington

MAY MUNICIPALITY WITHHOLD UNION DUES WHEN CITY EMPLOYEE GIVES WRITTEN CONSENT

Municipal corporation may withhold union dues of city employee on his written request therefor.

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                                                                 January 12, 1953 

Honorable Wally Carmichael
State Representative
38th District
Box 736
Everett, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 457

 Dear Sir:

             This is in reply to your letter of December 29, 1952, in which you state that the city charter of the City of Everett is silent on the question whether that municipal corporation may withhold from salaries or wages of its employees labor union dues of such employees.

             You request an opinion, based on the foregoing facts, whether the municipality may, with the written permission of the union members, legally withhold dues of members of Everett Fire Fighters' Union Local No. 350.

             It is the opinion of this office that the inquiry should be answered in the affirmative.

                                                                    ANALYSIS

             It is no longer an open question in this state whether working men and women may lawfully organize themselves into, or carry on labor unions for bettering the conditions of the members of such unions.  RCW 49.36.010.

             There is not any doubt at the present time as to the power of a city of the first class to enter into an agreement and contract with a labor union covering the  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] question of wages, hours and working conditions of the municipality's employees which, of course, includes fire department employees. This needs no citation of sustaining authority.  It presupposes, however, that the proposed agreement is not in contravention of the ordinances or charter of the employer municipal corporation or that it contravenes the constitution or laws of this state.

             The City of Everett may, inasmuch as there is nothing in the constitution or statutes or in the charter or ordinances of the municipal corporation prohibiting such assignment or agreement, on written request of an individual member of Everett Fire Fighters' Union Local No. 350, withhold union dues from compensation of such employees.

 Very truly yours,
SMITH TROY
Attorney General

T. H. LITTLE
Chief AssistantAttorney General

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