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It is customary to read of employees claiming retaliation against their employer. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit’s recent decision in Bator v. District Council 4, Graphic Communications Conference represents the almost unheard of — employees claiming retaliation at the hands of their union instead.

In Bator, union members simply wanted fellow union members working for a competitor to make an equal pension plan contribution, since they would all be entitled to the same pension benefits. The request cost them dearly. The union saw it as an affront, and the union members’ attempt to rectify the inequities in contributions led to their expulsion from the union, as well as the loss of an early retirement option, disability pensions and a death benefit.

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This article was originally published in Law 360.