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Machinists’ “bullsh*t” info request sabotaged its case, NLRB rules


Note to unions: If you’re going to request a ton of documents, having one of your agents acknowledge that the request is ‘bullsh*t’ may not end well for you. At least that’s what the National Labor Relations Board has ruled.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) generally places few limits on unions’ ability to request and receive information from employers related to members’ terms and conditions of employment, but a recent case demonstrates there are limits. On Jan. 9, the NLRB issued a decision in a case against IronTiger Logistics, Inc. in which the Machinists union alleged the company failed to timely and adequately respond to an extensive information request related to work assignments of employees. In fact, the union was requesting detailed information about more than 10,000 different work assignments.

The company argued the burdensome information request amounted to harassment and sought irrelevant information. In support of that argument, the employer noted the day after the union made the request, the union representative making the request conceded that all of the information requested was “bulls**t.” Based on that statement – which amounted to an admission by the union the information was not relevant – the board decided to dismiss the complaint in its entirety. That is, the union effectively sabotaged its own request by making the statement. [Emphasis added.]

Here is the full NLRB decision.

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