Acting NLRB Regional Director Marlin Osthus ordered an election for OPEIU
Field staff representatives and organizers who work for the Office and Professional Employees International Union will get a chance to vote for union representation after a federal agency rejected management’s attempt to block a secret ballot vote by workers.
The representatives and organizers have been seeking a vote since September. It is common for workers who are employed by unions to themselves have the benefits of a union contract and collective bargaining rights.
The employer — OPEIU — objected to the organizing campaign, claiming that the News Media Guild could not represent them without being involved in a conflict of interest. The employer argued before the National Labor Relations Board that the conflict arose because the NMG is affiliated with The Newspaper Guild and the Communications Workers of America.
Turning aside those claims, NRLB Acting Regional Director Marlin Osthus ordered that an election be held. Testimony and evidence at an NLRB hearing “failed to reveal any interests” that would prevent the Guild from “fairly and single-mindedly representing employees,” Osthus wrote in his Nov. 29th order.
The employer has until Dec. 13 to appeal the decision. The NLRB is expected to set an election date within three weeks.
The shutdown of the federal government forced at least a two-week delay for a new group of workers seeking to bargain a contract with the Office and Professional Employees International Union.
The National Labor Relations Board adjourned a union representation hearing in Miami until Oct. 15. The hearing is aimed at determining which employees will vote in a federally supervised election to determine if the OPEIU field and organizing staff can vote to be represented by the News Media Guild can they can bargain a contract with the OPEIU.
The workers are seeking collective bargaining rights, just as the thousands of OPEIU members they work for have. Many workers employed by labor organizations are themselves covered by union contracts.
But OPEIU is resisting the organizing drive. Last week, it filed a motion to dismiss the request for an election. OPEIU lawyers argue that the Guild is unfit to represent OPEIU employees because some clerical employees of the Guild’s parent union, The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America, are represented by the OPEIU’s Washington, D.C., local.
A former NMG president, Tony Winton, testified last week that the News Media Guild enjoys a high degree of autonomy from its parent unions. Continue reading
Employer lawyers on Friday continued their effort to block a union election for field staff at the Office and Professional Employees International Union during a hearing in Miami before the National Labor Relations Board.
The field staff workers, who work for the OPEIU union, are themselves seeking to bargain collectively. Many employees who work for labor organizations are organized. The OPEIU staffers negotiate and enforce contracts for thousands of workers across the country, choosing the News Media Guild to bargain their terms of employment with OPEIU.
But in a motion filed Friday, OPEIU sought to dismiss the Guild’s petition for a federally supervised election, alleging NMG is unfit to be the union representative on conflict of interest grounds.
OPEIU lawyers contend that because some clerical workers employed by the Communications Workers of America are represented by OPEIU, allowing NMG to organize the OPEIU field staff would lead to “divided loyalties” and other conflicts of interest. Continue reading
Testimony got off to a late start Thursday at a federal agency hearing in Miami aimed at deciding who will cast ballots in a unionization effort at OPEIU, the Office and Professional Employees International Union.
The News Media Guild is seeking to have the National Labor Relations Board order an election so it can bargain for the field staff of the OPEIU, employees who negotiate organize and enforce collective bargaining agreements for tens of thousands of OPEIU union members across the country.
These representatives, like the members they work for, also want to be in a union. They selected the News Media Guild to represent them.
The employer contends that many of the workers the union seeks to organize are ineligible to vote in a federally supervised election, citing various legal exclusions.
The Guild, after it received a list of potential eligible voters from the employer for the first time Thursday, said several individuals named by the employer are either managers or do not perform the work of handling collective bargaining agreements, or are otherwise ineligible to vote.
In total, the status of 14 people is disputed. Continue reading
More than a dozen top labor professionals from the OPEIU union would become the newest employee group to be represented by the News Media Guild under a petition filed this month with the federal government, Guild officials said.
The Guild filed an organizing petition with the National Labor Relations Board on Sept. 12 on behalf of field staff representatives and organizers employed by the Office and Professional Employees International Union.
Believing deeply in the goals and aspirations of the labor movement, many international and local unions themselves have unionized workforces. For example, workers employed by NMG, as well as its parent unions, The Newspaper Guild and the Communications Workers of America, have unionized staffs. Continue reading