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Berkeley Bowl Employees To Get Another Shot At Going Union

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Berkeley Bowl (Dave Hong)

Shoppers checking out at Berkeley Bowl (Dave Hong)

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BERKELEY (KCBS) – The National Labor Relations Board has ordered a re-run of the 2010 union de-certification at the Oregon Street Berkeley Bowl store.

The board found that Berkeley Bowl corporate officials engaged in so much “alleged objectionable conduct” that they had to order that the June election, which was held for the right to have a union, be nullified. A new election will take place within sixty days.

Mike Henneberry, communications director for United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 5, told KCBS that the NLRB authored a settlement agreement that includes requiring the company to cease punishing its employees for participating in union activities, and to post a notice assuring them of their right to unionize.

“The reason that the Bowl has to re-run this election is because their anti-worker conduct was so egregious, that the board has decided they need to re-run it and give the workers another chance at union representation,” said Henneberry.

The NLRB also demanded that Berkeley Bowl officials create an atmosphere appropriate for a new union election.

Henneberry said the settlement agreement resolved four charges filed by the union which claimed that Berkeley Bowl officials were isolating union supporters, giving them harder work and unappealing assignments, and not allowing them to talk to each other about unionizing.

He said he believes Berkeley Bowl was trying to send a signal across the nation, to the business community, that unions can be shut down, even in a liberal enclave like Berkeley. Such conduct is illegal under the National Labor Relations Act.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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