Vol. 3 No. 3 Winter 1997-1998 Braun Consulting News Page 3.
NLRB Trends, continued:

In another recent case, the NLRB appears to want to change precedent regarding when it is necessary to comply with union requests for financial information. In the Conagra case, the Board's opinion indicates it is changing its views and that, by claiming a competitive disadvantage, an employer is likely to be vulnerable to union requests for financial information about its profits or losses.

This is a new twist enhancing union harassment of the employee. Requests for information is the Union's new "secret weapon" in charging an employer with a ULP.

Call Braun if your Union starts asking for information.

And finally, in a recent decision regarding a union election, a union card solicitor allegedly told an employee that if she did not sign a union authorization card, the union would take away her children and slash her tires. The employer thought this was grounds for requiring the election to be set aside.

The Board disagreed, finding that these tactics did not represent union policy. This seems to indicate that (in the opinion of the NLRB) there cannot be a union law violation in the absence of an express written union policy authorizing unlawful acts.

This is a cause for concern for many employers as the same Board will compel a new election for the most frivolous or technical violation by an employer.

Braun Consulting Group
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button Can You Defend Yourself Against "Salting"?

According to a recent federal court decision, a construction company did not violate federal labor law when it refused to hire members of two construction unions who identified themselves as "union organizers" on job applications.

U.S. Court of Appeals ruled October 7th that because the company consistently followed its own written guidelines in rejecting the applicants, it did not violate the NLRA. The company maintained current written job application guidelines on file with the Kentucky Department of Employment Services (Job Services). The guidelines required applicants to write in ink on special watermarked application forms, complete the forms at Job Services' offices, and refrain from including extraneous information such as "Veteran, Boy Scout or Union Organizer," the court said.

As part of the company's written policy, a company manager would screen applications and discard those that did not conform to guidelines. The rejected applicants had completed the applications at their union halls on photocopied forms that indicated union affiliation, the court wrote.

The company was within its rights when it declined to hire the union members because they had not conformed to the application guidelines. The NLRA prohibits employers from discriminating against an individual in hiring or tenure to discourage union membership.

next column:

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in November 1995 that employers can't discriminate against paid union organizers who seek jobs in order to organize nonunion workforces, a practice known as "salting." Call Braun to set up your defense against "salting".

Note: The above information was taken from HR News, November 1997, Vol. 16, No. 11, page 2.

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