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Texas manufacturer to pay more than $58,000 and reinstate workers in NLRB settlement

Baked-goods manufacturer Sterling Foods, LLC, has agreed to pay more than $58,000 in back pay and interest to six employees who were discharged in the fall of 2011 following a union organizing campaign.  Three of the employees have also accepted offers of reinstatement to their previous jobs. 

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local Union No. 455 filed charges alleging the employer engaged in multiple unfair labor practices during and after the union’s attempt to organize about 500 employees at the San Antonio, Texas facility. An election petition was not filed.

Following an investigation by regional staff, NLRB Regional Director Martha Kinard issued a complaint alleging that, in response to the union’s campaign, Sterling Foods unlawfully discharged six employees, threatened to terminate other employees, solicited an employee to report on union activities, offered an employee a financial benefit if he reported the union activities of employees, engaged in surveillance of employee union activities, called the police on employees and union organizers engaged in union activity, prohibited employees from accepting union literature and directed employees to throw away union literature.  A hearing on the complaint had been scheduled to start on August 6, 2012 in San Antonio.

The Regional Director had also filed a petition with the U. S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division, seeking a temporary injunction against Sterling Foods’ unfair labor practices and an interim order of reinstatement of the six discharged employees. A hearing on that petition had been scheduled for July 19, 2012.

The settlement, signed on July 13, 2012, eliminates the need for both hearings. Sterling Foods also agreed not to engage in such unfair labor practices in the future, to post a notice to that effect at its San Antonio facility, and to mail a copy of the notice to all employees.

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