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Regional News: Board finds Texas employer unlawfully refused to hire union job applicants

The National Labor Relations Board has found that a Texas employer violated federal labor laws by refusing to hire four union job applicants who were engaged in a salting campaign at the employer’s central Texas job sites.

The employer, Cobb Mechanical Contractors, Inc., was ordered to offer immediate employment to the four applicants and make each whole for any loss of earnings and other benefits suffered as a result of the discriminatory act, which occurred in March, 2009.

In issuing its decision February 15, the Board adopted the findings of an administrative law judge that the employer committed multiple violations of the National Labor Relations Act by informing employees that the company would no longer hire journeymen because of the union, would not consider hiring anyone who sought employment with union assistance, directing employees to report on the protected activities of other employees, threatening to evict employees who distributed union literature from the jobsite, directing employees not to talk to union members, and coercively interrogating employees regarding their union activities and the union activities of other employees.

The Board also found that the employer engaged in unlawful surveillance by photographing union job applicants at Respondent’s Round Rock, Texas office, reaffirming its longstanding principle that “absent proper justification, the photographing of employees engaged in protected concerted activities violates the Act because it has a tendency to intimidate.”

A complaint was initially issued in this case by the Fort Worth Regional Office June 29, 2009.

The National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency vested with the authority to safeguard employees’ rights to organize and to determine whether to have a union as their collective bargaining representative, and to prevent and remedy unfair labor practices committed by private sector employers and unions.

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