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DC Circuit enforces Board order; Daycon Products must reinstate former strikers

The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday enforced the National Labor Relations Board’s order finding that a Maryland janitorial supply company prematurely declared impasse in negotiations with its employees’ union and unlawfully failed to reinstate workers after they went on strike to protest that declaration.

In its unpublished opinion, the Court summarily enforced the Board’s September 2011 order requiring Daycon Products Company, Inc., to reinstate all striking employees and make them whole for any losses incurred because of the refusal to reinstate them earlier. The Court also affirmed that the company illegally subcontracted out work without negotiating with the union, and ordered Daycon to rescind any unilateral changes and resume bargaining.

Daycon employees have been represented by the Drivers, Chauffeurs and Helpers Local Union 639, affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, since 1973. In April 2010, after about 10 negotiating sessions for a new contract, the company declared it had reached impasse and implemented its last bargaining order. Days later, union employees walked out on strike because of the unfair labor practice. They offered to return unconditionally in early July of that year.

If a strike is called in response to an employer’s unfair labor practices, the employer must reinstate striking workers when they offer unconditionally to return to work, even if it means displacing workers who were hired in the meantime. However, Daycon refused.

In enforcing the Board’s order, the Court agreed that “the Board’s findings are supported by substantial evidence in the record.”  It also rejected Daycon’s procedural challenges, including a claim that the Board denied it a fair hearing by issuing a press release summarizing the case following a decision by an administrative law judge.


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