Employer voluntarily recognizes your Union? Beware of Dana!

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Employer voluntarily recognizes your Union? Beware of Dana!

Post  JoeC (McGruff) on Thu May 27, 2010 1:30 am

The Seattle office of the NLRB (Region 19) recently ordered a decertification election to proceed because the 45-day notice of employees’ right to file for an election following their employer’s voluntary recognition of the Communication Workers of America did not comply with the requirements in Dana Corp., 351 NLRB 434 (2007). (AT&T Mobility, LLC & CWA 37083, Decision & Direction of Election, 19-RD-3854)(1/22/2010). http://www.nlrb.gov/shared_files/Regional%20Decisions/2010/19-RD-3854-01-22-10.pdf

The employer voluntarily recognized a 140-person unit of network employees in the state of Washington. The voluntary recognition took place on September 18,2009 and the employer notified the labor board the next day. The employees were spread over 11 different locations; the majority worked in Redmond, WA. At the Redmond location in question, the employer posted the notice on October 12, 2009. In early November, the petitioner one asshole (the employee who opposed the union a cyjeff type) learned from a co-worker about a Dana notice and his right to file for a decertification election during the 45-day period starting after an employer voluntarily recognizes a union. On or about November 2, the petitioner looked at all of the bulletin boards at his Redmond location and never saw the Dana posting. The employer admitted it did not check the Dana notice posting during or at the end of the 45-day window period. The petition was filed for a decertification election on December 22, 2010, nearly four weeks past the normal 45-day window.

Under Dana Corp., after an employer voluntarily recognizes a union it must post a notice announcing that employees have a 45-day window to file an election petition either for (1) a rival union or (2) to decertify the union that was just recognized. If the proper Dana notice is not posted for 45 consecutive days and someone files for an election, the Board will process the petition even if the 45-day window has past and even if the parties have already entered into a labor agreement. The Regional Director here directed the decertification election to proceed because he found the Dana notice was insufficient. It was not posted for 45 consecutive days. Therefore, neither the employer’s recognition of the union nor it’s signing of a lawful CBA barred the decertification election.

This case represents how one clown can ruin a hard won organising campaign for a labor union and demonstrates the grave consequences that can result from failure to meticulously comply with the requirements of Dana Corp. The lesson for union supporters is that the hard work of organizing a unit and obtaining voluntary recognition does not end with the verification of majority support, or even with the successful conclusion of bargaining a first contract. Union supporters must ensure that when a Dana notice is required that it be posted promptly, prominently, and continuously for 45 consecutive days. Failure to do so leaves the bargaining unit and union vulnerable to precisely what happened here. Assign someone at the worksite to track the dates of continuous posting (take periodic photos of the notice with a cell phone camera). Do not assume the employer will adequately monitor Dana Corp. compliance; it is not their responsibility it yours.
JoeC (McGruff)
JoeC (McGruff)

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