Region 28 Secures Extraordinary Remedies to Counter Concrete Company’s Extraordinary Violations During California and Nevada Union Organizing Campaign
Las Vegas, Nevada – On December 16, 2021, in a case litigated by Region 28 of the National Labor Relations Board on behalf of the General Counsel, Administrative Law Judge John T. Giannopoulos issued a decision and recommended order finding that ready-mix concrete company CEMEX Construction Materials Pacific, LLC committed serious unfair labor practices during a campaign by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to organize its 366 ready-mix drivers in Southern California and Southern Nevada. Judge Giannopoulos determined that enhanced notice-reading remedies and extraordinary union access remedies were necessary to combat the coercive effects of CEMEX’s unlawful conduct.
The Judge found that, during the Teamsters’ campaign to organize the drivers, CEMEX and a hired labor consultant from the Labor Relations Institute acted unlawfully, including: instructing drivers to remove union stickers from their hardhats and not to talk to union representatives; interrogating drivers about their union activities; surveilling drivers’ union activities; posting security guards at its facility before and during an NLRB-conducted union representation preference election; making repeated threats of negative consequences—including plant closure and termination— for engaging in union activities or unionizing; threatening that unionizing would be futile; blaming the Teamsters for delayed wage increases; promising employees benefits if they voted against the Teamsters; and disciplining, suspending, and discharging an avid union activist because of her union support.
The Judge determined that certain of CEMEX’s unfair labor practices were “hallmark violations,” of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRB), warranting a finding that CEMEX’s unlawful conduct “will have a lasting negative and coercive effect on the workforce and remain in the memory of employees for a long time.”
Judge Giannopoulos issued a recommended order requiring CEMEX to cease and desist from engaging in unfair labor practices; reinstate the unlawfully discharged employee; make the employee whole for wages lost; expunge all references to her unlawful discipline, suspension, and discharge; and post a notice stating that it will not violate employees’ rights under the NLRA.
The Judge further recommended a number of other remedies, explaining: “Extraordinary violations occurred here; nobody should lose their job, or fear losing their job, simply because they want a union in their workplace.” He recommended reading aloud of the notice to assembled drivers, union access to employee contact information, union access to post on plant bulletin boards, union access to nonwork areas of CEMEX’s plants, equal time for the Teamsters to address drivers if CEMEX addresses drivers on the question of unionization, and the opportunity for the Teamsters to deliver a 30-minute speech to employees in the event of the scheduling of an NLRB-conducted union election.
The remedies recommended by the Judge are among the remedies NLRB General Counsel Jennifer A. Abruzzo directed the NLRB’s Regional Offices to seek to address unfair labor practices interfering with union organizing campaigns as part of her initiative to seek full remedies.
“Workers have the right to form a union without interference or retaliation from their employer,” said Region 28 Regional Director Cornele A. Overstreet, “I’m proud of my staff’s work to win these relief measures for the victims of such egregious unlawful behavior by CEMEX.”
The Judge also set aside an NLRB-conducted union election that the Teamsters lost following objectionable conduct by CEMEX and remanded the election matter to the Regional Director to conduct a second election when he deems the circumstances permit a free choice. The unfair labor practice matter has been transferred to the Board. Absent an extension of time, any exceptions to the Administrative Law Judge’s decision must be filed within 28 days of the transfer. Region 28 Field Attorney Fernando J. Anzaldua, Region 21 Field Attorney Winkfield F. Twyman, and Region 28 Field Attorney Kristina Robertson litigated the matter on behalf of the NLRB’s General Counsel.
Established in 1935, the National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency that protects employees, employers, and unions from unfair labor practices and protects the right of private sector employees to join together, with or without a union, to improve wages, benefits and working conditions. The NLRB conducts hundreds of workplace elections and investigates thousands of unfair labor practice charges each year. Region 28 serves areas in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas from its Regional Office in Phoenix and its Resident Offices in Albuquerque and Las Vegas.