The company operates about
700 convenience stores. A sales assistant at one of the company’s stores was
murdered while on duty. The murder was widely publicized, and employees
complained of inadequate security measures. As a result of the murder, 15 sales
assistants telephoned the union requesting a union organization effort. The
union sent representatives to 60 stores in the area where the murder had
occurred and left union authorization cards. Two days later the company
notified the union that an injunction had been issued during a prior union
campaign prohibiting solicitation on company property.
The next workday, the
company had a meeting with the store managers in the area and talked about the
need to improve security. The company officials also discussed the union’s
organization activities and reminded the managers of the “no solicitation”
policy and stated that a union would not necessarily do the employees any good.
Later that week, the company had an unprecedented meeting for all sales
assistants. Approximately 200 sales assistants attended and were paid for their
time. The company officials told the employees that they did not need a union
and that the employees from the union could retrieve their authorization cards.
The employees were asked to voice their complaints and the employees listed the
following: getting less than 40 hours work per week; not having breaks; not
being paid for overtime work; working alone at night; and poor lighting at the
The next day the company sent a memo to all regional personnel
directing that sales assistants should work a 40-hour workweek; canopy lights
were installed at all the stores; a policy was adopted that no one would be
required to work alone at night; and sales assistants began receiving wages for
after-hours overtime work. The company posted “no solicitation” signs in all
stores and directed that those signs be enforced; if the employees did not
enforce the signs, they would lose their jobs. Later that month the company
held further meetings with sales assistants, who again were paid for their
time. They asked to select committee representatives to meet with management to
discuss their complaints. Management officials left the room while the
employees selected their representatives. The company made a list of the ten
most frequently mentioned items from the employees’ recommended subjects for
the committee to discuss.
Meanwhile, the union filed a representation petition with the NLRB
seeking an election in a unit of all Summitt, Ohio sales assistants. The
company president told the managers to tell the sales assistants that if they
joined the union, the company would close those stores. The first meeting of
the Employee Management Committee was held and the ten priority items were
listed, granting employees a new vacation policy, improved health-care
benefits, sick days, change in holiday hours for pay, recognition of seniority
ranks, and improved security systems. Not long after that, the company sent an
additional memo around announcing other improvements in life, major medical,
and accident insurance plans, in addition to death and family benefits and a
revised disciplinary appeal system.
The union wants to file a complaint with the NLRB. What “unfair labor practice” claim(s) could it make? For each one, what defense would the company give? Use the specific terms and concepts covered in this course to support your analysis. Please limit your response to a maximum of 2-3 concisely written, double-spaced pages.
The basic outline for your answer will be:
Definition of an unfair labor practice
Unfair labor practice claim(s)
Union’s position for each
Company’s position for each
(Add as many rows as needed)
The chart is a tool to help you focus your thinking and to be sure that you provide both sides’ perspectives for each ULP. Your answer can be presented in it or via paragraphs. You are not required to incorporate the chart in your answer. Choose the method that explains your analysis clearly.