Labor Relations Today

Labor Relations Today

National Labor Relations Board General Counsel to Pursue Complaints Against McDonald’s and Franchisees as Alleged Joint Employers

Posted in Uncategorized

The National Labor Relations Board Office of the General Counsel announced this afternoon that it has authorized complaints on 43 unfair labor practice charges filed against McDonald’s franchisees and their franchisor, McDonald’s, USA, LLC.   Significantly, the General Counsel has indicated that absent settlement in these cases, he will issue complaints against the respective franchisee and McDonald’s, USA, LLC as a joint employer respondent.

This announcement by the General Counsel of allegations his office will pursue in litigation before an Administrative Law Judge is widely being mischaracterized as a “ruling” or “decision” of the National Labor Relations Board itself.  We are likely years from such a conclusive finding.  Still, the General Counsel’s announcement is a clear proclamation of his legal position on the joint employment issue — a legal position, once again, at odds with decades of precedent.

The Board has long been expected to toss aside decades-old standard for determining whether two or more businesses may be found to be “joint employers.”  In May 2014, the Board invited interested parties to submit amicus briefs in Browning-Ferris Industries, a case involving the routine application of the Board’s existing standard.  Under that standard, two or more employers must “share or co-determine matters governing essential terms and conditions of employment.”  Perhaps consistent with the approach announced today, the NLRB’s General Counsel’s brief argued that the Board should abandon its current joint employer standard in favor of an amorphous “totality of the circumstances” test.  (McKenna Long & Aldridge filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Retail Litigation Center).  The briefing period for amici closed on June 26, 2014, and the case appears to be ripe for decision.  Obviously, the actual National Labor Relations Board decision in Browning-Ferris may have significant impact on the resolution of these McDonald’s cases as they go forward.

At a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions on June 24, 2014, Andrew Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants expressed his concerns about the Board’s shift in approach thus:

If franchisors are considered joint-employers with their franchisees, the cost of increased staff and increased risk will most likely translate into franchisors charging higher royalty rates and fees, perhaps significantly higher. Franchisor control over a franchisee’s labor force, and the risk and higher royalty rates and fees associated with it, have the potential to chill the desire of franchisors to franchise and of franchisees to acquire a franchise or to develop new units, at a time when the country desperately needs economic growth.

Many of these charges have been filed in concert with the Fight for Fifteen movement, funded significantly by the S.E.I.U.  Since November 2012, at least 181 charges have been filed across the country against McDonald’s franchises.  The General Counsel indicated today that 68 were found to have no merit, and presumably have been, or will be, dismissed.  To date, 43 of these cases are thought by the General Counsel’s Office to have merit, and will be the subject of litigation absent settlement.

Employer wins in Bergdorf Goodman, but Specialty Healthcare Still Alive and Well

Posted in Micro Units, NLRB Decisions, Representation Elections

On July 28, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board issued its long-awaited decision in Bergdorf Goodman, 361 NLRB No. 11 (2014), unanimously finding inappropriate the petitioned-for unit of “all women’s shoe sales associates” at the employer’s retail store on Fifth Avenue–even under the controversial test articulated in Specialty Healthcare. The outcome is somewhat surprising given the Board’s recent decision in Macy’s, Inc., in which it applied Specialty Healthcare and found appropriate a petitioned-for unit consisting of all sales employees from only cosmetics and fragrances departments.

In Bergdorf, the union sought a bargaining unit comprised only of the women’s shoe sales associates in the “Salon shoes” department on the second floor, and in “Contemporary shoes” group in the larger “Contemporary Sportswear” department. The Board’s decision overturns the Regional Director’s decision, in which he found that petitioned-for unit appropriate because the women’s shoe associates position:

requires a distinct skill set from other sales associates due to the unique nature of the product they are selling. If a shoe is not sized appropriately for a customer, discomfort and possible knee, back and other physical injuries could result.

The Regional Director also found that the women’s shoes associates were compensated differently than the other sales associates and that there was little interchange and interaction with other employees, which outweighed the common terms and conditions of employment among all employees.

The Board disagreed as it found that the employees in these two departments lacked a community of interest despite the fact that they all sold women’s shoes, were the only employees who specialized in women’s shoes, were the only employees in the store paid on a “draw against commission” basis, and received the highest commission rate. Specifically, the Board noted that while the petitioned-for employees were readily identifiable as a group by virtue of their function, the “boundaries of the petitioned-for unit do not resemble any administrative or operational lines drawn by the Employer”:

while the Salon shoes employees constitute the whole of their department, the petition carves the Contemporary shoes employees out of a second department, Contemporary Sportswear, excluding the other sales associates in that department. The carved-out Contemporary shoes employees are then grouped with the Salon shoes employees, who are located on a separate, nonadjacent floor.

The Board, except for Members Miscimarra and Johnson, then took it upon itself to identify the following facts that could have swung the decision in the union’s favor:

  • if Salon shoes and Contemporary shoes employees shared common supervision despite being located in different departments;
  • significant interchange between the Salon Shoes department and the carved-out Contemporary shoes group;
  • significant contact between the two groups; and
  • shared skills and training.

Interestingly, while all five members of the Board participated in the decision, in a footnote Member Miscimarra expressly disagreed with the viability of Specialty Healthcare, as he reiterated the standard he set for in his dissent in Macy’s. that should apply. Member Johnson declined to address Specialty Healthcare or the recent Macy’s case.

Although the unit cherry-picked by the union was found inappropriate, employers should take little comfort in Bergdorf Goodman as the Board used it to create a road map for unions to identify “appropriate” fractured units despite Specialty Healthcare‘s admonition against  such units. Accordingly, please continue to monitor the blog for additional developments and analysis of micro unit cases.

SEIU Funds Fight For Fifteen Gathering

Posted in Quick Hits, Special Interests, Unions

The Boston Globe reports that last week, over 1,000 fast food workers from across the country gathered in a Chicago suburb to discuss ways to raise their wages.  The movement, colloquially dubbed the “Fight for Fifteen,” has been gaining steam since its inception in November of 2012.  Last week’s convention is believed to be the largest meeting of fast food employees since the Fight for Fifteen took off.

As we have reported previously, the movement is being underwritten largely by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).  The SEIU has provided the Fight for Fifteen with organizing assistance, strategic advice, and cash. 

Glenn Spencer, an executive at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, noted that the SEIU was not acting solely in the interests of the workers.   

“You don’t put that kind of money in just to have a sense of altruism,” he said. “You have a plan for how that transfers into new members.”

The Fight for Fifteen has gained a great deal of media attention in recent months, but organizing local fast food restaurants may prove difficult.  High turnover will in particular likely have a negative impact on any organizing efforts.  However, that is not to say that this movement can be ignored.  After 18 months, it has become clear that the Fight for Fifteen has some serious staying power.

More on this story can be found here:

Proposed House Bill Would Make Organizing A Civil Right

Posted in House of Representatives, Legislation, NLRA, NLRB, Quick Hits

The Nation reports that House Democrats John Lewis (GA) and Keith Ellison (MN) plan on introducing legislation that would make labor organizing akin to a civil right.  As currently written, the bill would amend the National Labor Relations Act to make union campaigning a fundamental legal right similar to the right to be free from age, sex, or racial discrimination in the workplace.   

If an employer violated the amended Act, an employee could seek redress in federal courts after 180 days.  This plan of action, similar to the current processes in place for EEOC processes, which place the allegedly aggrieved employee in the drivers’ seat.  Under current labor law, an employee must rely on the results of a National Labor Relations Board investigation before finding out whether a complaint may move forward.

Representative Ellison justified the proposed legislation in a statement to The Nation:

“[The NLRB] remedy, though useful and very important, and nothing in our legislation changes that, that remedy is considered slow and somewhat inadequate. For some of these union-busting law firms, [they] will say ‘so do it and we’ll just pay.’”

We will be following this legislation closely.  In its current form, it is quite unlikely that the bill will go anywhere in the Republican-controlled House.  Regardless, we will keep you posted.

Board ALJ Nixes Mercedes’ Handbook Policy

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Quick Hits, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions

Last week, a National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge determined that Mercedes-Benz’s employee handbook contained an overly broad and unlawful policy.  The complaint brought by the United Auto Workers (UAW) alleged that the policy, which prohibited employees from passing out nonwork-related notices during work time or in working areas, violated the National Labor Relations Act.

“Employees reasonably would understand” the solicitation and distribution rule, said Judge Locke, “to prohibit solicitation, in work areas, by employees not on working time of other employees not on working time.”

Mercedes-Benz must now revise the employee handbook’s “solicitation and distribution” section to ensure that employees understand that the rule in question does not prohibit solicitation of employees outside of working time.  We will keep you posted on whether Mercedes appeals the ALJ’s ruling to the full Board.

Top 10 NLRB Issues to Monitor the Rest of the Year

Posted in Expedited Elections, Micro Units, NLRA, NLRB, NLRB Administration, NLRB Decisions, NLRB Misc., NLRB Rule-Making, Presidential Appointments, Representation Elections, SCOTUS, Unfair Labor Practices

UPDATED: JULY 29, 2014

1.  Aftermath of Noel Canning

The Supreme Court determined in late June of this year that President Obama’s purported recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board were unconstitutional.  Hundreds, or potentially even thousands, of Board decisions issued by the improperly-constituted Board could be affected by the Court’s ruling.  Administrative actions taken by the Board and the former Acting General Counsel, Lafe Solomon, could also be affected by the decision.  Interestingly, Member Craig Becker, whose term in office was also effectuated via recess appointment, was deemed to be properly-appointed in a recent decision by an Administrative Law Judge, so presumably cases issued during his tenure are unaffected.

2.  Quickie Election Rules

After the Board’s 2011 efforts to adopt new rules designed to shorten the time between petitions and union elections were found to be procedurally defective, the Board announced in February 2014 that it was proposing virtually the same rules anew.  The Board held a public hearing, and the public comment period closed in mid-April.  While no date for final determination has been announced, a decision will likely come by the end of 2014.

3.  Micro Units

This week’s decision in Macy’s, Inc., finding appropriate a bargaining unit consisting only of cosmetics and fragrance employees represents a significant break from the Board’s long-standing practice of upholding only store-wide units in the retail industry.  It certainly reveals that the Board’s 2011 decision in Specialty Healthcare is alive and well.  Another micro-unit case — Bergdorf Goodman, Case No. 2-RC-076954– is pending at this time.  While that case also arose in the retail industry, application of the Macy’s/Specialty Healthcare framework to the facts of that case may shed additional light on how micro-unit cases will be approached in all industries.

UPDATE: The Board issued its decision in Bergdorf Goodman on July 28, 2014. Please see our post summarizing the decision, and continue to monitor the blog as we will provide additional updates and analysis of micro unit issues.  

4.  Employee Access to Employer Communication Systems

In May, 2014, the Board invited amicus briefs in the Purple Communications case, with an eye toward creating special rules for employee access to employer email systems for union activities. Currently, the Board’s Bush-era Register Guard decision governs these decisions, holding that employers can enforce a blanket-ban on non-work-related use of its email system so long as the ban is non-discriminatory and consistently applied.  The General Counsel’s position, summed up in its brief filed in the case is that employees should “have a statutory right to use [the employer's email] systems for Section 7 purposes during nonwork time, absent a showing of special circumstances relating to the employer’s need to maintain production and discipline.”  Such a holding would not only reverse the Register Guard holding, but would depart from decades of Board precedent holding that employees have no right to use employer equipment for union organizing activities. On June 24, 2014, the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions (HELP) conducted a hearing concerning the National Labor Relations Board’s current agenda, including the issue of employee access to employer email systems. Briefing in Purple Communications has concluded, and thus the case is ripe for decision.

5.  Joint Employer Standard

In May 2014, the Board invited interested parties to submit amicus briefs in Browning-Ferris Industries, a case involving the routine application of the Board’s decades-old standard for determining whether two or more businesses may be found to be “joint employers.”  Under the existing standard, two or more employers must “share or co-determine matters governing essential terms and conditions of employment.” Predictably, unions and their allies submitted briefs proposing that a much broader standard be adopted.  The NLRB’s General Counsel’s brief argued that the Board should abandon its current joint employer standard in favor of an amorphous “totality of the circumstances” test.  The briefing period for amici closed on June 26, 2014, and the case appears to be ripe for decision.

6.  Deferral to Arbitration

Back in February of this year, the Board solicited briefings on whether it should “continue, modify or abandon the Olin/Spielberg standard for deferral to arbitration awards.”  The existing standard has been good law for many years, but has recently come under attack from former Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon.  The current General Counsel is also advocating for a new standard, which would place the burden of proof on the party seeking deferral to demonstrate that (1) the collective-bargaining agreement incorporates the statutory right, or the statutory issue was presented to the arbitrator, and (2) the arbitrator correctly enunciated the applicable statutory principles and applied them in deciding the issue.  Briefing on the issue has concluded and labor watchers expect a ruling in the coming months.

7.  Persuader Rules

The much-anticipated and long-delayed Department of Labor rule narrowing drastically the scope of the “advice exception” to the so-called persuader regulations in the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA) remains a very significant issue to be watched.

8.  Appointment of Sharon Block

The term of Board Member Nancy Schiffer, one of three Democrats on the five-member Board, expires December 16, 2014.  President Obama has announced that he intends to appoint Democrat Sharon Block to replace Member Schiffer.  Ms. Block was one of the attempted recess appointments invalidated by the Supreme Court in Noel Canning.  If Ms. Block’s appointment is confirmed by the Senate, the Democrats will maintain the existing 3-2 majority on the Board.

9.  Successor Employer Obligations

In 2011, the Board overturned existing precedent and held that, where a new employer is determined to be a successor employer after a sale or merger, no challenge to a union’s representational status may be raised for a “reasonable” time after the transaction.  NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin has indicated that additional changes may be in the works impacting successor employers.  Under current law, even though a successor employer has an obligation to bargain with the union representing the predecessor’s employees, the successor may, in most instances, unilaterally determine the initial terms and conditions of employment for those employees.  On February 25, 2014, General Counsel Griffin wrote that his “initiatives or policy concerns” included “[c]ases involving the issue of whether a perfectly clear successor should have an obligation to bargain with the union before setting initial terms of employment.”  He is expected to request the Board to change the existing law in this area.

10.  Rights of Non-Union Employees

The Board and General Counsel Griffin are focused on addressing the rights of non-union employees. The Board has already issued a number of decisions affecting non-union employees such as cases involving employer work rules, rules against gossipconfidentiality rules, disciplining employees’ for insubordinate conduct while engaged in protected activity, as well as others. Meanwhile, General Counsel Griffin has identified multiple initiatives directed at non-union employees for which it wants to give guidance to the Regions. For example, he has publicly stated that one of his major focuses for the next term will be eliminating workplace rules stating that employees cannot discuss wages. In addition, he has directed that matters involving the following issues are to be submitted to the General Counsel’s Division of Advice:

  • the applicability of Weingarten principles in non-unionized settings;
  • at-will” provisions in employer handbooks
  • the rights of contractor employees, who work on another employer’s property, to have access to the premises to communicate with co-workers or the public; and
  • mandatory arbitration agreements with a class action prohibition.

Honorable Mention

While affecting a small subset of private employers, the Northwestern University case presents interesting issues about when students are “employees” under the National Labor Relations Act. In Northwestern, the Regional Director found that the university’s football players are not primarily students, and thus are “employees” under the Act and able to form a union. The players voted in a union election on April 25, but the ballots were impounded pending a decision by the Board on the university’s appeal of the Regional Director’s decision. The Board’s decision will not only address the status of football players under the Act, but also likley the continued viability of the Board’s 2004 decision in Brown University, holding that graduate students are not “employees” under the Act. Brown University reversed the Board’s 2000 decision in New York University holding for the first time that graduate assistants are “employees.” Briefing concluded on July 10, so the case is now ready for a decision.

IN Judge Throws Out State’s Right To Work Law

Posted in Quick Hits, State/Local Issues, Unions

An Indiana Judge determined that the state’s controversial “right to work” law runs afoul of the Indiana Constitution and cannot stand.  The state’s attorney general, Greg Zoeller, heartily disagreed with the ruling and vowed that the state would seek an immediate stay.  The state’s “right to work” law was issued in 2012 and makes it a misdemeanor to compel a nonunion employee to pay union dues as a condition of employment.

“Strong opinions exist on both sides about involuntary union dues, but the attorney general’s office has a duty to defend the laws the Legislature passes from legal challenges plaintiffs file,” Zoeller said in Wednesday’s statement. “If a trial court finds a law unconstitutional, then the appropriate action is to stay its ruling pending the appeal.”

Judge George Paras of Indiana’s Lake County Circuit Court issued the decision.  He struck the law because he determined that it violated the Indiana Constitution’s prohibition against demanding services without “just compensation.” 

Stay tuned to @LRToday, where we will be reporting on whether the judge’s ruling is stayed.

NLRB Finds Micro-Unit at Macy’s Appropriate; Effectively Eliminates Retail Industry’s Presumption of Wall-to-Wall Units

Posted in Micro Units, NLRA, NLRB, Representation Elections, Unions

The National Labor Relations Board yesterday issued the long-awaited Macy’s, Inc. decision.  The Board majority consisting of Chairman Pearce and Members Hirozawa and Schiffer determined that the petitioned-for unit of cosmetics and fragrance employees at a Macy’s retail store is appropriate, while Member Miscimarra dissented by asserting that not only is the petitioned-for unit inappropriate, but the Board should set aside its controversial Specialty Healthcare ruling.  

The case reached the Board after the Acting Regional Director for Region 1 issued a Decision and Direction of Election (DDE) on November 8, 2012, providing that the United Food and Commercial Workers’ (UFCW) petitioned-for unit of only the cosmetics and fragrance employees at a Macy’s retail location in Saugus, MA was an appropriate unit.  Macy’s contested the DDE, arguing that the smallest appropriate unit must include either all employees at the Saugus location or at least all selling employees at the store.  The Board granted Macy’s request for review on December 4, 2012. 

The Board’s lengthy decision confirms that Specialty Healthcare is alive and well.  Under Specialty Healthcare, when a union seeks to represent a unit of employees: 

“who are readily identifiable as a group . . . and the Board finds that the employees in the group share a community of interest after considering the traditional criteria, the Board will find the petitioned-for unit to be an appropriate unit . . ..”

Once the petitioned-for unit is deemed an appropriate unit, the proponent of a larger unit must show that the employees it wishes to include share:

“an overwhelming community of interest with the petitioned for employees, such that there is no legitimate basis upon which to exclude certain employees from the larger unit because the traditional community of interest factors overlap almost completely.”   

The Board found the petitioned-for unit appropriate for several reasons.  First, the cosmetics and fragrance employees are readily identifiable “based on classification and function.”  Second, the proposed unit “is coextensive with a departmental line” Macy’s drew, which means that Macy’s chose to create a cosmetics/fragrance department at the Saugus location.  Third and most importantly, the petitioned-for employees undoubtedly share a community of interest. According to the Board, they are the only employees who sell cosmetics and fragrances and rarely come into contact with products sold in other departments.  While the cosmetics and fragrances department is split into two floors, the Board determined that this was of no moment because the two areas are connected by an escalator. 

Because the UFCW showed that the petitioned-for employees shared a community of interest, Macy’s bore the burden of proving that the petitioned-for unit shared an “overwhelming community of interest” with other employees at the store.  The Board found that Macy’s failed to meet its burden.  Not only do the petitioned-for employees work in a separate department from all other selling employees, but the petitioned-for employees are separately supervised as well.  The petitioned-for employees also work in their own “distinct selling areas.”  Moreover, the Board found little significant interchange between the petitioned-for employees and other selling employees.  Cosmetics and fragrance employees do not sell other products in other departments, just like other sales employees do not sell cosmetics and fragrance products.

Macy’s argued that the petitioned-for unit was not appropriate because the petitioned-for employees are “functionally integrated” with the rest of the store pursuant to DTG OperationsDTG Operations explained that “functional integration” of employees exists where all employees “pitch in” or perform the functions of different classifications.  The Board noted that Macy’s reliance on DTG Operations was misplaced.  Even if the petitioned-for unit was “functionally integrated” with the remainder of the selling employees, “the significance of functional integration is reduced where . . . there is limited interaction between” the proposed unit and other employees. 

The Board also reiterated that even though two groups of employees may share a community of interest, that fact by itself would not render a separate unit inappropriate.  The petitioned-for employees and other sellers are subject to the same employee handbook, maintain similar hours, are evaluated on the same rating system, and receive the same benefits.  But, the distinctions explained above ensure that Macy’s could not establish “an almost complete overlap.” Macy’s thus failed to establish that the petitioned-for unit and other sellers share an overwhelming community of interest. 

The Board also rejected Macy’s claim that the Board’s own precedent requires a store-wide unit of all employees.  The Macy’s decision traces the evolution of the Board’s reasoning concerning retail establishments.  “[O]ver time, the overall trend [in decision-making] has been an unmistakable relaxation of a presumption in favor of a storewide unit.”  Rather, a less-than-storewide unit would be found appropriate as long as unit employees share an identifiable community of interest and are “sufficiently distinct” from other employees. 

Member Miscimarra penned a spirited dissent, finding that the petitioned-for unit is not an appropriate unit under either pre or post-Specialty Healthcare reasoning.  According to Member Miscimarra, the smallest appropriate unit here must consist of all selling employees at the Saugus location because the proposed unit employees are so similarly situated to other sellers. 

Member Miscimarra then explained that long-standing Board precedent presumed that a store-wide unit would be an appropriate unit.  “Employees in a single retail outlet form a homogenous, identifiable, and distinct group . . . [and] generally perform related functions under immediate supervision.”  In the instant case, a store manager rates, hires, and fires employees, which effectively demonstrates that a community of interest exists and affirms the appropriateness of a presumption of a storewide unit.

Lastly, the dissent faults the Specialty Healthcare ruling on three grounds.  It undercuts the Board’s “responsibility to evaluate each proposed unit on its own merits because it upholds petitioned-for units except in limited circumstances.  The decision also throws out the presumption that a store-wide unit is an appropriate unit in the retail industry.  Most damningly, the “overwhelming community of interest” standard enunciated in Specialty Healthcare renders the relationship between proposed-unit members and their excluded coworkers “irrelevant in all but the most exceptional circumstances.”

The Macy’s decision demonstrates that the current Board is determined to cement Specialty Healthcare’s place in labor law, and that industry-specific presumptions for appropriate bargaining units are meeting their demise as we predicted in June 2012.  Unfortunately for employers, the fear that Specialty Healthcare will lead to a proliferation of micro-units is proving true.  As noted in the instant case, there are several other departments at the Saugus location.  If those departments chose to organize, Macy’s would be forced to bargain with several different unions within the same store location. 

Labor watchers now expect that the Regional Director’s Decision and Direction of Election in Bergdorf Goodman, Case No. 2-RC-076954, will also be affirmed and thus join the Macy’s decision as the death knell of the retail industry’s presumption of wall-to-wall bargaining units.   In that case, the Regional Director found the petitioned-for unit of women’s shoes associates on the second and fifth floors of Bergdorf Goodman’s New York City location to be an appropriate unit.   

Stay tuned to @LRToday for further developments concerning this case and all things related to the field of labor relations.

Met Raises Spectre Of Lockout

Posted in Negotiations, Quick Hits, Unions

The Metropolitan Opera notified union members that the famed opera house will lock out its union employees if union and management officials fail to agree to a new collective bargaining agreement.  The current contract is set to expire at the end of this month.  Union employees were advised in a letter that they should prepare themselves for a work stoppage beginning August 1st if the parties are still at odds.

The parties have been butting heads over a new CBA for some time.  The Met claims that it has to cut costs to remain viable.  The union counters that poor management decisions have caused the opera house’s budgetary issues.   

More on this story can be found here:

Guards To Board: SEIU Forces Us To Pay Dues

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Quick Hits, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions

The National Right to Work Foundation has filed unfair labor practice charges on behalf of a group of security guards against the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), alleging that the union forced them to pay dues to support union activities.  The guards, who are not members of the union, accuse the union of forcing them to pay full union dues, even though some of those dues are unrelated to bargaining activities.

The guards argue that the SEIU’s actions are in contravention of the guards’ current collective-bargaining agreement with their employer, in which the union stated that nonunion workers could refrain from paying for the union’s political activities.

“SEIU bosses are resorting to deception and even outright intimidation to force workers into full dues paying union ranks,” Patrick Semmens, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation, said in a statement announcing the unfair labor practices claim.

The union has yet to comment on the charges.  We will keep you posted as the charges move through the National Labor Relations Board’s processes.