Lawsuit: PA Liquor Store Union Forced Clerk to Pay Dues

Member Group : Fairness Center

Contact: John Sweeney, 609.477.0930, [email protected]

UFCW officials acknowledged Allen Knabb’s resignation but keep taking money from his paycheck 

October 07, 2021, Harrisburg, PA Third time’s the charm. That’s the message the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 1776 Keystone State (“UFCW”) is sending to one of its former members by forcing him to pay union dues against his will—even though he’s already told them twice that he wants to stop paying the union.

Allen Knabb, a liquor store clerk for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, resigned from UFCW over a year and a half ago, in January 2020—and then again in February 2021. But union officials and the Commonwealth continue taking dues from his paycheck to this day. Union officials claim that Mr. Knabb can only end the dues collection if he sends another letter during a fifteen-day window that they say is in December. So even though Mr. Knabb has already resigned twice, with the union knowing months in advance that he wanted dues deductions to end, they are still having the Commonwealth take his money. Union officials say they can force Mr. Knabb to keep paying unless he sends a third letter, in the 15-day window in December 2021—almost two years after he first resigned.

As a result, Mr. Knabb has filed a federal lawsuit against UFCW to enforce his constitutional rights not to be associated with or financially support a union against his will. He is represented by attorneys at the Fairness Center, a nonprofit public interest law firm that offers free legal help to those hurt by public sector union officials.

Fairness Center President Nathan McGrath released the following statement:

“UFCW and the Commonwealth should have stopped taking dues from our client’s paycheck over eighteen months ago, when he first resigned his membership. Like all public employees, Mr. Knabb has the constitutional right not to financially support a union. But it appears union officials are more concerned with taking our client’s money than they are with respecting his constitutional rights.”

This case was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.


Fairness Center attorneys are available for comment. Contact John Sweeney at 609.477.0930 or [email protected] to schedule an interview. 


The Fairness Center is a nonprofit, public interest law firm offering free legal services to those hurt by public-sector union officials. For more information visit