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OK Foods Guilty of Objectionable Conduct in Union Election

20 November 2014

US - The US National Labour Relations Board has ordered OK Foods to set aside the result of a union election held on 1 May because it found the company “engaged in objectionable conduct” under the National Labour Relations Act.

The Board found that in the election for maintenance and refrigeration workers OK Foods made false promises to employees regarding pay increases in exchange for defeating the union.

The board recorded: “After concluding the hearing and carefully reviewing the evidence as well as arguments made by the parties, I recommend that the petitioner’s objections be sustained in part because the evidence demonstrates that the employer engaged in objectionable conduct.

“More specifically, credible evidence warrants the conclusion that the employer promised employees a wage increase in return for their support in the election, told an employee that it could not resolve his wage complaint because of the employees’ union activity and solicited employees’ grievances and promised to remedy them.”

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1000, who called for the election to be nullified, said it strongly endorsed the Board’s call for a new union election because OK Foods engaged in objectionable conduct, which prevented workers from having a free and fair union election on 1 May this year.

“I’m pleased the Board did the right thing for these workers,” said UFCW Local 1000 President Ricky Burris.

“The Board ruled definitively that OK Foods interfered with these employees’ free choice in organising a union. Why is this company so scared of its workers having a fair vote without lies and coercion? I want to see a re-vote scheduled as soon as possible.”

UFCW Local 1000 has been organising with OK Foods workers since December 2013. The workers approached UFCW with complaints of low wages, expensive healthcare benefits, and unfair and unequal treatment at OK Foods chicken processing plant in Heavener.

OK Foods is a subsidiary of Mexican-based poultry consortium Industrias Bachoco.

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