Oldcastle Precast rank-and-file to vote on Laborers decertification

Sources: National Labor Relations Board; CP staff

NLRB Regional Director George Velastegui has ordered Region 32 (Oakland, Calif.) staff to conduct a secret ballot election for employees of the Oldcastle Precast concrete pipe, manhole and precast plant, Stockton, Calif., on retaining Laborers International Union of North America Local 73 and Northern California District Council of Laborers as their collective bargaining representative.

His “direction of election” order responds to a batch plant operator’s November 2014 petition for a decertification vote, timed with the sunset of an April 2012–January 2015 contract, terms of which were extended for February. The operator is one of about 40 bargaining unit members. In addition to batch plant duties, he is among leads who oversee crews in pipe, manhole, wet cast and reinforcement fabrication departments across the 27-acre Oldcastle Precast operation. With three- to eight-member crews, leads conduct huddle sessions at the start of a shift to assign specific duties; cover production targets; and, solicit feedback on safety, machinery, equipment and other immediate workplace matters.

Laborers officials challenged the petitioner and fellow leads’ participation in balloting, contending that their duties make them statutory supervisors and ineligible to vote with the bargaining unit. Velastegui rejected the claims after comparing leads’ responsibilities to the National Labor Relations Act supervisor definition. He has set early-March deadlines for Oldcastle Precast and union officials to finalize paperwork regional office staff needs to conduct the election.

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