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Regional News: NLRB Judge finds recurring unlawful interference, orders third election at New York egg processing plant

An administrative law judge has found that supervisors at a Woodbridge, New York egg processing plant violated federal labor laws by interfering with a rerun NLRB-conducted election, and ordered that a third election be held. Charges were filed by the United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 342.

In his decision issued April 27, Judge Robert A. Ringler found multiple examples of unlawful behavior at Newburg Eggs, Inc. prior to a union election held on June 29, 2010. In meetings with employees, company representatives promised future benefits if employees voted against the union, told employees a vote for the union would be futile, and solicited grievances and responded to them, which they had not done before, the judge found. The company also hired a bilingual human relations manager to improve communication with the largely Spanish-speaking workforce just before the election, which the judge found was an unlawful granting of benefits.

The June 29 election was itself a rerun of an election held October 1, 2009. The UFCW filed objections following that election, and the employer agreed to the rerun. The union lost both elections, 43-to-80 in the first and 41-to-77 in the second.

To remedy the unfair labor practices, Judge Ringler ordered that the election results be set aside and a third election held. The judge also ordered that a Board agent read a notice to employees in both Spanish and in English in the presence of the company’s current president and plant manager describing their rights under federal labor law. The decision can be appealed to the Board in Washington by the filing of exceptions.

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