Features, Multimedia, National, New York

Federal Court Rules Wage Freeze Was Union-Busting

August 14, 2017

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

Washington, DC – A top federal appeals court ruled Aug. 4 that a Pennsylvania company had illegally violated workers’ free-speech rights by freezing wages during a union-organizing campaign in 2012. The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a decision by the National Labor Relations Board certifying International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 14M as representing workers at Oberthur Technologies of America, which manufactures credit cards, debit cards, and governmental identification cards. During the Teamsters’ organizing campaign, the company banned all union-related speech on the plant floor and suspended giving workers bonuses for good performance and raises for promotions. Oberthur admitted that two days after the union filed its petition for an election, the company’s human resources manager had sent an email to all supervisors instructing them to tell workers expecting extra pay that “‘During this period, we have to keep the status quo on all issues related to wages, transfers, and promotions.’ Please note: We cannot say things like, ‘it’s because of the union,’ or ‘your promotion will be processed once we vote the union down.’” Hopefully, she added, “employees will realize that it may be linked to unions.” Chief Judge Merrick Garland ordered the company to “bargain in good faith.” Read more

August 14, 2017

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