American Directional Boring, a Missouri company that installs cable and fiber optics, has paid $262,500 to eight former employees who were fired for trying to organize a union at the company’s St. Louis facility. The company also agreed to significant remedies, including granting access and providing employee names to union organizers.
In addition to posting a formal Board notice, the company agreed to have a high-level manager read the notice aloud to employees, to mail the notice to current and former unit employees at the St. Louis facility , and to include a second notice to current employees apprising them of their right to report incidents of intimidation or coercion to the Board’s St. Louis regional office.
The company will allow the union access to its St. Louis and Union, Missouri facilities to meet with employees. At the St. Louis facility, the union is allowed access to a non-work area for up to one hour every two-weeks until June 30, and can hold one half-hour mandatory employee meeting on paid time. At the Union facility, the union can hold two half-hour mandatory employee meetings on paid time
The company also agreed to provide the Union with a list of names and addresses of current employees at both facilities.
During the nascent organizing campaign, a company manager threatened that the facility would close if the organizing drive was successful, repeatedly emphasized that the company would never recognize a union, encouraged supporters of the union to get jobs elsewhere, and threatened to discipline employees for wearing union pins. The company’s anti-union campaign culminated with the firing of 13 union supporters.
An Administrative Law Judge found that the company’s actions violated the National Labor Relations Act. The Judge’s ruling was upheld by the National Labor Relations Board in Washington. The company then appealed the Board’s decision to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Board filed for enforcement of its decision in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
While the case was pending in court, the settlement was reached through the efforts of the Board’s Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Branch, Region 14, and the Eighth Circuit’s settlement program. The settlement resolved all issues in the court case and also resolved all pending unfair labor practice charges.
The National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency vested with the power to safeguard employees’ rights to organize and to determine whether to have unions as their bargaining representative. The agency also acts to prevent and remedy unfair labor practices committed by private sector employers and unions.