Can You Hear the Rocky Theme Song Playing?
March 16, 2012
Toll drivers are queuing up the “Eye of the Tiger” and rightfully so. Last month Toll dragged its drivers into a hearing at the National Labor Relations Board in order to further delay the driver’s right to a fast election. Toll was attempting to rob the driver’s of a fair vote by arguing that other company staff should also be included in the vote – and not just current Toll staff either – the employer argued workers it had yet to hire should also be allowed to vote in the union election. What? (Let us explain.)
“Redefining the voting unit” is a common practice by employers bent on keeping their workers from exercising their right to form a union. Employers insist on including additional employees in the voting unit, typically forcing a hearing that delays the election. Employers hope to water down the worker’s vote, from a yes to a no, by including management and other staff likely to vote against the union. Usually staff that are not experiencing any of the deplorable working conditions that prompted the workers to want their union in the first place. (Remember the filthy outhouses Toll drivers were forced to use while other staff enjoyed indoor plumbing?) It’s also not unheard of for companies to go as far as hiring a new set of workers to vote against the union – it’s always easier to convince (threaten) new hires to vote a certain way.
Well this time around – Toll threw the expected punch and missed! The NLRB regional office rejected Toll’s arguments and ordered an election in a unit of only drivers. The NLRB has directed both parties to select an election date between April 6 -11. But since this timeline coincides with Easter, we don’t know yet if Toll will attempt to further delay the vote by arguing that drivers must find all the colorful Easter eggs before they get their vote. We’ll keep you posted.
In the mean time Drivers are celebrating! One driver even bought a cake complete with paper plates and napkins to share with other drivers and their fervent supporter, the TWU’s National Secretary Tony Sheldon, during a shift change outside of Toll’s work yard. The icing on the cake read: “Congratulations Truckers, We Kicking Ass!”
Please note: this blogger will refrain from disclosing the name of the driver who bought the cake just in case Toll’s “company policy” prohibits drivers from having their cake and eating it too.