What is “Financial Core (Fi-Core)”?
(by Tonya Tannenbaum)
Financial core, or Fi-Core, is a designation or status that allows actors to work in both union projects and non-union projects.
Full union members are only allowed to work in that union’s signatory projects. This means, they are not allowed to work in the many non-union projects that are available to non-union actors. A Fi-Core status allows union actors to work in both. In this classification, actors elect to technically become non-members of the union. However, they continue to pay dues as if they are, as a so-called, “fee-paying non-member”, thus, granting them the ability to work in a union environment.
The Fi-Core status stems from a 1963 Supreme Court ruling in the case of Labor Board vs General Motors. In it, the Court ruled that workers can work in a union environment as long as they meet the core financial requirements of members. By paying these basic costs, Fi-Core workers can enjoy basic union benefits, such as collective bargaining and grievance adjustment. They cannot, as a condition of employment, be required to support union activities beyond these basic, core activities.
While Fi-Core actors are unbound by the internal rules and regulations of the union, they also lose their voting rights on the contracts they work under and forego the ability to hold elected office in the union, as they are no longer union members.