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Labor Board upholds CMC Rebar case decision against Iron Workers

The National Labor Relations Board has affirmed a May 2017 decision and order determining that the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental, and Reinforcing Iron Workers, Local 229, San Diego, violated the National Labor Relations Act in activities tied to picketing a Temecula, Calif., construction site.

Administrative Law Judge Mary Miller Cracraft weighed Local 229 actions—along with tandem measures by International Union of Operating Engineers Local 12, Whittier, Calif.—directed at Western Concrete Pumping Inc. (WCP) through a peer in reinforcing steel and post-tensioning, Commercial Metals Co. or CMC Rebar. Western Concrete and CMC Rebar were subcontractors to McCarthy Building Companies Inc. on a four-story parking structure at the Pechanga Resort & Casino; each claimed a labor dispute with WCP over paying workers to area standards, but was not similarly engaged with CMC Rebar, an Iron Workers Master Labor Agreement signatory.

In support of its labor dispute with WCP, Operating Engineers Local 12 members began four months of picketing the Pechanga jobsite in August 2016, bearing “Not Paying Area Standard Wages – Western Pumping” signs. At picketing onset, an Iron Workers 229 business agent sent CMC employees a text containing a No Picket Lines symbol circled by “FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS CROSS.” The message encouraged the rebar crews to strike or refuse to perform Pechanga work in support of both locals’ labor dispute with WCP.

“Picketing or activity that induces or encourages the employees of a secondary employer to stop work, where an object is to compel that employer to cease doing business with the struck or primary employer” violates the NLRA, ALJ Cracraft explains in her decision and order. “Local 229 induced or encouraged employees of CMC, a neutral employer, to stop working with the objective of forcing CMC to cease doing business with the primary employer WCP,” she concludes.


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