Apr 10, 2014
In an extraordinary decision, the general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board has moved to consolidate recent unfair labor practice complaints that have been brought against T-Mobile US. The telecommunications company has been cited for its relentless and escalating attempts over the past 10 years to stop workers from obtaining union representation.
Over the past decade, NLRB complaints were repeatedly issued against T-Mobile in different regional offices. The decision to consolidate a group of current unfair labor practice complaints challenging the company's disciplinary actions targeting union activists and its overly broad company rules and policies into one national case is an important step by the NLRB. The company will need to defend its systemic anti-union behavior in one proceeding where the board can order broad relief for employees at every T-Mobile location.
There is clear evidence that T-Mobile US headquarters in Bellevue, Wash., has been monitoring and orchestrating all union organizing activities nationwide.
This means that the attack on T-Mobile and Metro PCS workers in stores and call centers nationwide has been waged with the knowledge of top management.
The board's consolidation decision came in response to T-Mobile's relentless, ever-escalating national campaign to prevent its employees from obtaining union representation, using many different harassment and surveillance tools.
The decision requires one hearing officer to hear all complaints, witnesses and evidence regarding T-Mobile's efforts to block workers from voting for union representation. A trial now is underway in Wichita, Kan. When testimony is concluded, that same judge and NLRB trial team will travel to Albuquerque, N.M., to hear witnesses and evidence on other complaints.
The board's decision recognizes that it is time for a change in the agency's enforcement strategy. The NLRB clearly is responding to the history of broken promises by T-Mobile when it comes to following U.S. labor law. Consolidation will allow the NLRB to issue more effective remedies to finally stop T-Mobile's outrageous conduct.
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