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New union election set for next week at Texas fire sprinkler company after previous vote results are set aside, resulting in NLRB settlement


In order to resolve allegations of unfair labor practices, a Texas company that installs and repairs fire sprinkler systems has agreed to set aside results of a union election and to permit the National Labor Relations Board to conduct a new election on Wednesday, February 23. 


The company,Waco-based Fire & Access Control, which does business as Jerry Dickerson Automatic Fire Protection, also entered into a settlement agreement with the Union, the Road Sprinkler Fitters Local Union No. 669, U.A., AFL-CIO,  under which five employees were offered reinstatement and awarded $45,000 in backpay.


On June 25, 2010, the union sought to represent the company’s nine employees but lost the election by three votes. The Union filed charges alleging the employer engaged in unfair labor practices leading up to and following the vote, including the discharges and refusals to hire. Following an investigation, Regional Director Martha Kinard notified the employer that she found sufficient evidence of unlawful conduct to issue a complaint. The employer then agreed to re-run the election and enter into the informal settlement, which was signed in mid-November of 2010.


In the settlement, the employer also agreed, among other things, not to terminate, discipline, otherwise discriminate against or threaten employees because of their union activities.  A Notice to Employees advising employees that the employer will refrain from such conduct was posted in work areas and read to employees by the company owner in the presence of an NLRB Board agent on December 27, 2010.


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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