Sometimes you can find interesting articles in industry trade publications.¹ From Concrete Products²:
By Don Marsh | Published: Thursday, 22 October 2015 15:07
The account here last month of an accident-prone building materials truck driver who commanded the National Labor Relations Board General Counsel’s attention pales against the outcome of a complaint NLRB Administrative Law Judge David Goldman weighed in a mid-September decision.
The judge ordered Alabama-based Ready Mix USA LLC to meet with Teamsters Local 402-designated representatives, including a shop steward who brought a firearm to an early-2015 bargaining session. A union complaint alleged a National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) violation stemming from the producer’s refusal to participate in any meeting the steward is present.
Judge Goldman reviews evidence, legal motions and precedent he sees favoring Local 402, which was certified in October 2014 as the collective bargaining representative for 19 drivers and yard staff at Ready Mix’s Huntville, Ala., concrete plant. The complaint emanated from a February session, during which Ready Mix management and counsel observed that Teamsters steward Jerry Davis bore a handgun, partially concealed by clothing. He acknowledged frequent weapon possession, owing to a concealed carry permit and views on personal safety.
Ready Mix attorneys fervently protested Davis’ action in correspondence the following day with Local 402 officials. The producer also suspended Davis as part of an investigation to determine if a gun had been brought to work, reinstating him with backpay satisfied of no such occurrence. Local 402 officials claimed they entered the bargaining session unaware of the weapon; condemned the steward’s action; and, indicated assurances from Davis that he would not bring a gun to any future meetings with the employer. They did not commit to designating an alternate steward from the Huntsville plant ranks.
Ready Mix petitioned the NLRB regional office in Birmingham to pursue a complaint against Local 402, alleging NLRA violation through bad faith bargaining. “By intimidating and harassing conduct, the Union engendered such ill will among members of the employer’s representatives as to render good faith bargaining impossible as long as the gun-toting representative remains on the Teamsters Local No. 402 bargaining team,” the company contended.
Explaining a decision not to issue a complaint on Ready Mix’s behalf, the regional director concluded, “The mere fact that an employee member of the Union’s negotiating team had a firearm on his person during a bargaining session is insufficient to establish a [NLRA] violation as alleged.”
I do not wish to quote the entire article, but the money line is further down; the Judge continued:
If Davis’ mere presence causes sufficient ill will to make collective bargaining impossible, it is not because of Davis’ conduct but because Respondent [Ready Mix] has chosen to make it so.
This is important: a federal government official, NLRB Administrative Law Judge David Goldman, ruled that the mere presence of a (partially) concealed deadly weapon, borne by a man with a concealed carry permit, does not create a hostile environment by itself, but that hostile environment is simply the perception of a second party, and that perception is both one of choice and one which does not make it actually the case. Further, he ruled this to be the case not just in a generalized sense, but in the context of an adversarial process, in this case a union contract negotiation.
One wonders what President Obama and the gun-grabber Democrats would say about that? 🙂
¹ – While I am a ready-mixed concrete professional, and have been part of the industry for over thirty years, I am not now, nor have even been, associated with Ready Mix USA LLC. I do not know who any of the involved personnel are, or whether I have ever met any of them.
² – Concrete Products, a Mining Media International publication, Volume 118, Issue 10, October 2015, p. 4
Cross-posted on The First Street Journal.