On July 12, 2018, the Restaurant Law Center filed an amicus brief in this case that deals with the standard used by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to determine appropriate bargaining units under the National Labor Relations Act. The Law Center filed its brief in support of an appeal of a NLRB Regional Director findings that a small group of employees constituted a unit appropriate for collective bargaining, aka, “micro-union.” The Boeing Company’s 787 Dreamliner manufacturing facility in South Carolina employs approximately 3,000 production and maintenance employees, who have twice voted against joining a union. Regardless, the NLRB Regional Director directed the election of a subset of employees at the plant to allow for the creation of a “micro-union” in violation of the “community of interest” standard required to make bargaining unit determinations. We call on the NLRB to apply the traditional standard and argue that the standard used by the Regional Director impedes the Board’s obligation to determine appropriate bargaining units by granting too much deference to union-proposed units “without attaching any weight to the interests of excluded employees.” We also highlight the practical problems of allowing fragmented units/micro-unions, which create an artificial barrier that separates employees and departments and frustrates the ability to maintain stable labor relations.
As of September 6, 2018, the request for review by the NLRB of the Regional Director’s decision was still pending.