An NLRB Administrative Law Judge has issued a decision finding that a Maryland manufacturer of janitorial products violated federal labor laws by breaking off negotiations with its employees’ union, and by refusing to reinstate striking workers when they offered to return.
In his decision, issued on February 15, Judge Joel P. Biblowitz ordered Daycon Products Company, Inc. to reinstate the employees and make them whole for any losses incurred because of the refusal to reinstate them earlier. The judge also found the company illegally subcontracted out work without negotiating with the union. He ordered the company to rescind any unilateral changes and to 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.
In cases where a strike is due 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. In January, the Regional Office petitioned the federal court for a temporary injunction forcing the company to rehire all striking workers. That petition is still pending.
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.