Monday, March 27, 2006


Have you read our FAQ posted yesterday about why the strike continues? If so, you're ready to take our current events quiz!

What’s the difference between a fair union selection process and an NLRB election conducted after the employer has unlawfully fired, threatened, and interrogated union supporters and spied on their meetings?

(a) No difference at all.

(b) UNICCO doesn’t want a fair union selection process.

(c) About three years.

Answer key:

If you answered (a), you must be a member of the UM administration. Otherwise, UM officials presumably wouldn’t keep calling for an NLRB election. But answer (a) is wrong!

If you answered (b), you are right. If UNICCO really wanted a fair union selection process, it would not have unlawfully threatened union supporters with reprisals, unlawfully interrogated workers about the union, unlawfully interfered with the right of its workers to discuss the union and to participate in after-hours union functions, and unlawfully conducted surveillance of a union meeting. But according to a complaint issued by the National Labor Relations Board, that’s exactly what UNICCO has done. And according to an article in the Orlando Sentinel, on the eve of the strike UNICCO fired a leading union supporter after she spoke with a reporter about the union. (An unfair labor practice charge challenging the firing is still pending before the NLRB.)

If you answered (c), you are right as well. Under NLRB procedures, it will take at least two to three years to resolve all of the unfair labor practice charges against UNICCO, and, even if the NLRB conducted an election between now and then, the results would not be final until the end of that process.

The SEIU wants to avoid all of that delay by presenting proof – in the form of the signatures it has collected from hundreds of UNICCO workers – that those workers desire union representation. The SEIU is willing to provide those signatures to a neutral party (chosen with UNICCO’s assent) to verify their authenticity, and that process – which has been used in hundreds of union campaigns over the past decade and has even been used many times by UNICCO itself – would take no more than a matter of days to finish.

So there’s the choice : Three years or a few days. If you were a UNICCO worker, which would you prefer?

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