Statement of United Food and Commercial Workers Union on the Proposed NLRB Rule that would Standardize the Representation Election Process

Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:09am EDT

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Statement of United Food and Commercial Workers Union on the Proposed NLRB Rule that would Standardize the Representation Election Process

“Today’s proposed rule from the National Relations Board comes down to basic fairness on the job. When workers choose to vote to form a union on the job, the vote shouldn’t be plagued by delays, bureaucracy or obstacles. Working people are already struggling. And, they’re waiting and wondering when the economy will recover to a point that there’ll be enough stable, middle class jobs in their communities. They shouldn’t have to struggle to get a union voice on the job. They shouldn’t have to wait and wonder when they’ll get justice on the job.

Just ask the workers at the 2 Sisters Food Group plant in Riverside, California. When a majority decided they wanted a union voice in their workplace, their employer used the lengthy timeline of the NLRB election process to mount a vicious harassment and intimidation campaign. Instead of investing in their workforce, they hired anti-worker consultants. They distributed anti-union flyers. They forced attendance at daily anti-union meetings. They insisted on including leads who appeared to be supervisors in the unit, which workers agreed to, in order to avoid a lengthy pre-election litigation delay.

As Election Day neared, bosses escalated their campaign by hiring uniformed security guards to monitor the comings and goings of every worker. They illegally fired five workers for their union support—one just a week before the election. When the voting came, off-shift workers were forced to wait at a parking lot gate and then personally escorted one by one to the ballot box by the company CEO, then escorted off company grounds.

The harassment, intimidation and illegal firings were too much. Workers feared for their livelihoods, and they narrowly lost their bid for a union.

Today’s proposed rule is an acknowledgement that the pressure and bullying 2 Sisters workers encountered shouldn’t happen in an American workplace or at an American ballot box. American workers have the right to vote on whether to form a union; and the election process should be straightforward and streamlined; it shouldn’t involve long delays nor require workers to navigate a legal maze.”

UFCW
Nicky Coolberth, 202-728-1806
press@ufcw.org

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