Read Case Study 4-1, “Salting,” on pages 155-156 of your textbook. Then, address the following:
- Explain how the company’s treatment of both the “covert” and “overt” salts applications for jobs compares to the recommended counter-salting steps for employers.
- Would either the “covert” or the “overt” salts in this case satisfy the NLRB ruling that applicants for employment must be genuinely interested in seeking employment before claiming protection under the NLRA?
- Does the company’s opposition to becoming a union shop indicate that there was anti-union animus in refusing to consider the “overt” salts for employment?
Your response should be a minimum of 150 words per question. All sources used, including the textbook, must be referenced; paraphrased and quoted material must have accompanying citations in APA format.
CASE STUDIES Case Study 4-1 Salting
The Company is engaged in the business of removing or cleaning hazardous waste. Most of its employees fall into three categories; (1) field technicians who are unskilled laborers; (2) drivers and operators of trucks; and (3) field supervisors who go out into the field and are in charge of jobs. The driver and equipment operator positions require commercial driving licenses (CDL). All parties agree that the people who are called field supervisors are employees and not supervisors within the meaning of Section 7 of the act.
The Union was engaged in organizing companies in the area handling hazardous materials. The Union sent a letter dated March 9 to the Company indicating (a) that it was commencing an organizing drive; (b) that the NLRA precluded the employer from restraining or coercing its employees; and (c) that it would be distributing literature to its employees at various projects. Subsequently, the Union began leafleting to the Company’s employees on their way into and out of the workplace.
On March 21, the Company placed a help-wanted ad, seeking to hire operators who had CDL licenses and H&T (hazardous material handling endorsements). The Union sent two members, Castillo and Rivera, to apply for a job. And even though neither had the required commercial driver’s license, they were allowed to fill out applications and were interviewed. They both were told that they could have jobs as field technicians, and arrangements were made for them to get a drug test. Neither informed the Company that they were members of a union or that they intended to organize employees on behalf of the Union. They were “covert” salts and were instructed to keep their union membership secret until the appropriate time. Castillo and Rivera were told by the Union that if they obtained jobs, the Union would make up the difference in the wage rate paid by the Employer and the wage rate that they had been getting from being employed as shop stewards at union employers. Also, the Union agreed to provide them with any benefits not provided by the Company. They started as field techs on April 16 or 17.
On the morning of April 13, the Union sent teams of union agents into the Company’s office to apply for work at the Company as “overt” salts. The overt salts went to the Company’s facility in pairs, wearing union clothing and carrying recording devices to record what was said during the application process. When the overt salts entered the facility, they asked the Company’s receptionist for employment applications and advised her that it was their intention to organize the Company. She responded that the Company was not interested in becoming a union shop, but informed the applicants that they could apply for one of the available driver positions but that, in order to apply for such positions, they would have to produce driver’s licenses with CDLs and HAZMAT endorsements. Although some of the applicants indicated to the Receptionist that they possessed those licenses, it is undisputed that, in fact, none of them did. When none of the individuals were able to produce the required licenses, she advised them that they could come back and fill out applications when they had obtained them. One of the applicants then inquired whether he could fill out an application for a field technician position. She told him that the Company did not have openings for field technicians at that time, but that he could complete an application and she would keep it on file. He did not, however, complete an application. None of the applicants returned to the Company after April 13, nor did they make any further attempt to apply for employment with the Company.https://jigsaw.vitalsource.com/books/9780133468021/epub/OPS/xhtml/fileP700047853800000000000000000310B.xhtml#P7000478538000000000000000003118
The Union filed an unfair labor practice charge against the Company for refusing to hire or consider for hiring the union members in violation of the NLRA.
In order to establish a refusal-to-hire violation the Union must establish the following elements: (1) that the Company was hiring, or had concrete plans to hire, at the time of the alleged unlawful conduct; (2) that the applicants had experience or training relevant to the announced or generally known requirements of the positions for hire, or in the alternative, that the employer has not adhered uniformly to such requirements, or that the requirements were themselves pretextual or were applied as a pretext for discrimination; and (3) that antiunion animus contributed to the decision not to hire the applicants. In order to establish a refusal- to-consider violation the Union has to show (1) that the Company excluded applicants from a hiring process; and (2) that antiunion animus contributed to the decision not to consider the applicants for employment.
The Company argued that none of these applicants had the qualifications necessary to be hired as drivers. Nor were these “overt salts” actually looking for employment. All of them had full-time jobs at the Union, as business agents, organizers, or dispatchers. When they were invited by the office person to submit applications for nondriver jobs, accompanied by their social security cards and driver licenses, they never followed up on this invitation and not one made any further attempt to apply for employment. Furthermore, the Company, having recently decided to hire around four laborers (including union salts Castillo and Rivera), did not immediately need any field technicians. Put simply, they were not qualified for the jobs advertised and they did not apply for jobs for which they were qualified, but which were not immediately available.
The Union argued that the Company’s decision not to hire or consider for hire the “overt salts” was clearly motivated by antiunion animus for when the two “covert salts” applied for jobs for which they were not qualified, the Company allowed them to complete the application process and they were, in fact, hired as field techs. In addition, the Receptionist’s statements that the Company did not want to be a union shop clearly showed the antiunion animus amid the ongoing organizing drive.
Source: Adapted from Allstate Power Vac, Inc. and Laborers International Union of North America, Local 78, 354 NLRB No. 111 (2009).
Questions 1. Explain how the Company’s treatment of both the “covert” and “overt” salts applications
for jobs compares to the recommended counter-salting steps for employers. 2. Would either the “covert” or the “overt” salts in this case satisfy the NLRB ruling that
applicants for employment bust be genuinely interested in seeking employment before claiming protection under the NLRA?
3. Does the Company’s opposition to becoming a union shop indicate that there was antiunion animus in refusing to consider the “overt” salts for employment?