Bricklayers Improperly Filed Petitions for Single-Employer Units of Contractors in Multiemployer Group
The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that Bricklayers Local 1 improperly petitioned the Board to represent single-employer units of three plastering contractors, because the contractors were part of a multiemployer unit that had granted 9(a) recognition to Plasterers and Cement Masons Local 530.
The three contractors were members of the Plastering and Spray Fireproofing Contractors of Greater New York and had delegated collective bargaining authority to the association. In July 2002, the association executed a collective bargaining agreement with Local 530 for the period of July 2002 through January 2006. The agreement covered the three contractors, along with the five or six other contractors that were members of the association at the time. In March 2004, Local 1 filed separate petitions to represent all plasterers employed by the three contractors. Local 530 intervened. Local 1 claimed that the contractors and Local 530 had only 8(f) relationships, which would not bar an election by another union. The Board disagreed.
Proof of a 9(a) relationship requires evidence that: (1) the union unequivocally demanded recognition as the employees’ 9(a) representative; (2) the employer unequivocally accepted the demand for recognition; and (3) either the union made a contemporaneous showing of majority support of the employer’s employees, or the employer acknowledged and accepted that the union enjoyed majority support. The Board found that such evidence was shown here based on testimony about a series of events that took place in 2000 and 2002. During those events, Local 530 officials asked the association president to recognize the union as the 9(a) representative of the association’s members’ employees and offered to show him union authorization cards signed by a majority of workers employed by each association member. Each time, the association president responded that he did not need to see the cards and that he acknowledged the union as the exclusive representative of the plasterers employed by all of its members. The Board noted that the parties further memorialized their 9(a) relationship in the July 2002 agreement, which includes a recognition clause stating that the employer recognizes Local 530 as the employees’ majority representative pursuant to Section 9(a) of the National Labor Relations Act.
Where an employer is part of a multiemployer bargaining relationship governed by 9(a), the Board will not entertain petitions for single-employer components of a multiemployer association. Because the three contractors here have a history of bargaining on a multiemployer basis governed by 9(a), the Board concluded, the petitioned-for single-employer units are not appropriate, and the only appropriate unit is a multiemployer unit. The Board remanded the case for further consideration by the Board’s regional director.
J.D. Consulting, LLC, 345 NLRB No. 117 (Nov. 30, 2005).
For more information on the difference between 8(f) and 9(a) relationships, click here.
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