In unusual move, National Labor Relations Board pursues injunction in federal court requiring restaurant to bargain with its workers’ union, UNITE HERE Local 11
Today, the government agency tasked with enforcing federal labor laws filed a petition in federal district court in Los Angeles asking for an order requiring the Daily Grill restaurant to remedy violations of its workers’ rights to unionize.
During an election that was certified in mid-2018, workers at the Daily Grill on Century Boulevard near Los Angeles International Airport voted to unionize with UNITE HERE Local 11, the hotel and restaurant workers’ union.
However, as the motion filed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) asserts, the company refused to bargain with the union in good faith and instead “engaged in a pattern of delay intended to frustrate the bargaining process” and then “refused to meet and bargain with the Union.”
The NLRB’s action is highly unusual. The right of workers to unionize and the obligation of employers to bargain in good faith with unionized workers have been on the books for decades. However, the NLRB has typically addressed violations through an administrative process that can take years to reach completion. In one case involving the Bel-Air Hotel, workers have been waiting for ten years for the company’s discriminatory refusal to rehire more than a hundred union members to be corrected. Long delays in correcting abuses can result in fearful or frustrated workers losing faith and giving up.
In the Daily Grill case, new leadership of the agency has opted to use its seldom-exercised power under section 10(j) of the National Labor Relations Act to go immediately to federal court for an injunction to correct the violations. Among other remedies, the agency is asking the court to require the company to negotiate with the union for a minimum of 24 hours a month, for at least six hours a session, until a resolution is reached.
Reacting to the court filing, Kurt Petersen, the union’s co-president said: “The Daily Grill has shown nothing but contempt for its workers’ rights and the rule of law. But we are heartened to see the NLRB’s leadership stepping up to say that our labor laws actually mean something and that flagrant violations must be remedied—not someday down the road in the future—but right now. We hope this is a sign of more effective enforcement to come, and we look forward to helping the Daily Grill’s workers win the kind of wages and benefits that they have been fighting for.”
UNITE HERE Local 11 is a labor union of more than 32,000 hospitality workers in
Southern California and Arizona who work in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers and airports.
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Maria Hernandez | 623-340-8047 | email@example.com