NLRB Awards Plastering Work to Carpenters Over Plasterers
The National Labor Relations Board recently issued a rare area-wide ruling in a 10(k) proceeding on a jurisdictional dispute between the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters and Local 200 of the Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons (Plasterers).
The dispute arose over conflicting claims to the performance of plastering work for Standard Drywall, Inc., at 97 projects in 12 Southern California counties. The disputed work includes:
- Corner beads when stuck on.
- All interior or exterior plastering using gypsum, Portland Center plaster (excepting cement bases 6 inches or lower), stucco, radian heat fill material, marble-crete, imitation brick or masonry, embedding of chips and stones, the finishing of same and mortars applied by the normal methods used by plasterers.
- The waterproofing of plaster including such material as Thoroseal and Ironite.
- The bonding and scratching of all ceilings and walls to receive terrazzo and tile; and bonding, scratching and borrowing to receive thin set tile.
- The sticking, nailing and screwing on of all plaster caps and ornaments.
- The application of bond coat plasters, bond dash coats and bonding agents to which plaster is to be applied regardless of tools used, method of application, color of material or type of base to which it is applied.
- The application of materials used for contract fireproofing, fireproofing, acoustical finish, or decorative finish.
- All moldings run in place. The making of all templates and the horsing of molds for interior and exterior work. The sticking in place of all staff work and plaster enrichments.
- The initial clearing of areas immediately adjacent to the plastering and concurrent with the plastering operation.
- Plasterers shall have the autonomy governing the mixing and applying of all materials used for plaster patching.
- The installation of Exterior Insulation Finish Systems (EIFS), starting with the foam.
- The carving or texturing of 'positive' rock and other theme work created from gypsum, Portland cement, or acrylic plaster.
The Board decides jurisdictional disputes as “an act of judgment based on common sense and experience, reached by balancing the factors involved in a particular case.” The following factors are relevant to the determination:
- certifications and collective bargaining agreements;
- employer preference and past practice;
- area and industry practice;
- relative skills; and
- economy and efficiency of operations.
Here, the Board found that collective bargaining agreements, employer preference and past practice, and economy and efficiency of operations favored awarding the work to workers represented by the Carpenters. The remaining factors did not favor awarding the work to workers represented by one union over the other. Accordingly, the Board held that Carpenters-represented workers are entitled to perform the work in dispute.
The scope of such an award normally applies only to the specific jobsites in dispute, particularly in cases, such as this, where the union against whom the case was brought represents the workers to whom the employer assigned the work and is expected to continue to assign the work. However, the Board will issue a broader, area-wide award if there is evidence that similar disputes are likely to occur in the future. Finding that such evidence exists here, the Board held that the determination of the present dispute “applies not only to the jobs in which the dispute arose but to all similar work done or to be done by the Employer on any other public works projects in the 12 Southern California counties, where the jurisdiction of the two Unions overlap.”
Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, 348 NLRB No. 87 (12/13/2006).
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