NLRB: Mercedes Violated Labor Act In Alabama Facility

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
nlrb mercedes violated labor act in alabama facility

The National Labor Relations Board ruled this week that the U.S. branch of Mercedes-Benz violated the right to organize among its employees at the automaker’s Vance, Ala. plant by prohibiting the distribution of union literature in common areas outside working hours.

Automotive News reports Judge Keltner Locke found for the plaintiffs on one complaint out of a number of complaints made against MBUSI regarding its violation of the National Labor Relations Act. In his decision, Judge Locke determined the areas where the subsidiary considered off-limits to dissemination were mixed-use areas — and thus, areas where material could be distributed freely — and that by “maintaining a solicitation and distribution rule which employees reasonably could understand to prohibit all solicitation in work areas,” MBUSI was in violation of the act.

Though no penalties were levied in the decision, the ruling ordered MBUSI to amend its rule so that off-the-clock employees may solicit other such employees. Mercedes stated that while they were pleased with most of Judge Locke’s ruling, citing his affirmation of its neutrality with regard to its employees, they disagreed with some aspects and were “evaluating next steps.”

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  • Waterview Waterview on Jul 30, 2014

    I can't clim to fully understand union organizing laws, but I find it interesting that our federal government can mandate that a business owner provide space on his own private property for the distribution of materials that may likely be adverse to the success of his business. I'm neither pro, nor anti-union, but I would prefer the government tell unions to find public space to conduct their organizing activities.

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    • Sitting@home Sitting@home on Jul 30, 2014

      The laws probably exist so that any work related forum or issue can get an audience without fear of corporate retribution. It may not be unions, but maybe someone has a legitimate concern about the cleanliness of a restroom or simply wants to set up a site pool league, as long as they're not doing it on company time then it shouldn't necessarily be banned from company property.

  • Alluster Alluster on Jul 30, 2014

    Alabama has labor laws?

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Jul 30, 2014

    The ruling sounds justified, but surely nobody thinks that having more literature in-hand will improve the chances of organizing these workers.

  • Clueless Economist Clueless Economist on Jul 30, 2014

    So one German company (VW) has to have union representative to appease a IG Metall's demand for a works council so VW is actively supportive of the UAW in organizing but two other German companies (M-B and BMW)actively fight against union representation in the states. Does IG Metall not represent auto workers in Germany? Something doesn't make sense here.

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