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Union Lets Down Worker Fired For Profanity

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - A union was partly to blame for the firing of a worker for swearing at her ex-boyfriend in a parking lot before work, the Ninth Circuit ruled. Judge Ikuta held that the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 99 violated its duty of fair representation when it failed to file a grievance challenging the write-up given Cheryl Beck, a scanner at Fry's Food Stores, over her parking lot profanity and her alleged "history of a foul mouth."

The union's inaction was "an arbitrary action that substantially injured Beck," the court ruled, adding that she probably would not have been fired if the union had filed her grievance. See ruling in Beck v. United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

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