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The NLRB Unpacks a Zero-Tolerance Policy for Coercion During Union Elections

Brian Petruska, General Counsel for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Organizing Coalition of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA MAROC), issued the following statement in response to the NLRB’s decision in Cemex Construction Materials Pacific, LLC – a decision that implements labor reform for which Petruska advocated in a 2017 law review article:

Reston, Va. (August 29, 2023) - If upheld by the courts, the NLRB's decision in Cemex Construction Materials Pacific, LLC will surely go down as a watershed case in the annals of labor history. While the ruling does not revive Joy Silk Mills, it establishes a similar policy that should be equally effective at deterring unfair labor practices committed by employers during union elections.

For too long, employers have stomped out organizing efforts through coercion and intimidation with little to no consequence. With the Cemex decision, the NLRB has made it clear that it will not tolerate an employer's plan to rely on coercion to defeat a union election. Any employer coercion serious enough to interfere with the Board's election processes will be met with an order for the offending employer to bargain with the union it was trying to defeat. This is a policy of zero-tolerance for employer coercion during union elections with a consequence that employers will be unable to ignore.

With this decision, the Biden Administration continues its already impressive record of delivering for America's working men and women. After passing historic legislation to safeguard America's pensions, rebuild its infrastructure, inaugurate America's renewable-energy future, promote its domestic manufacturing, and create millions of new jobs, the Biden Administration now also has delivered for American workers by achieving the most significant reform of U.S. labor law in a generation.

This is a transformative moment for worker organizing, and LIUNA commends NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo and the Biden NLRB on this historic decision that has restored workers’ voice in the union election process.