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April 24, 2014

Federal Judge Orders Employer to Reinstate Three Memphis Warehouse Workers and Stop Threatening Union supporters While Case Proceeds at NLRB

A federal judge this week ordered Ozburn-Hessey Logistics, LLC, (OHL) to reinstate three warehouse workers who were fired during a union organizing campaign, and to stop other behavior that interfered with their employees’ rights, pending the final resolution of a case before the National Labor Relations Board.

Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee issued the temporary injunction on April 5 at the request of the NLRB, stating that “it is necessary to return the parties to the status quo to protect the NLRB’s remedial powers.” 

The Agency’s Acting General Counsel has alleged multiple violations of labor law by the company in relation to an organizing campaign by the United Steelworkers Union started in the spring of 2009. An election was ultimately held in March 2010, which the union lost 180 to 119. After an investigation of charges filed by the union, the regional office issued complaints alleging multiple labor law violations.

Two NLRB administrative law judges agreed, and found violations sufficient to overturn the election results. OHL has appealed those decisions to the full Board in Washington. The order issued this week will remain in effect until a final determination is made.

Under the federal order, OHL’s officers and agents are ordered to desist from interrogating employees about their union activities, threatening them with a loss of benefits if the union were to win an election, confiscating pro-union literature from break rooms, warning, and suspending or discharging employees because of their union activities. The company was also ordered, among other things, to offer reinstatement to three employees who were fired during the organizing campaign, and to allow a fourth employee to resume working overtime. 

© Copyright 2013 National Labor Relations Board

About the Author

The National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency vested with the power to safeguard employees' rights to organize and to determine whether to have unions as their bargaining representative. The agency also acts to prevent and remedy unfair labor practices committed by private sector employers and unions.

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