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Union Organizers Assaulted, NLRB Doesn't Bother Pursuing the Case
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Written by Erin Johansson   
October 16, 2008

If you’re attacked while peacefully protesting, you’d expect to have someone to turn to for justice. If you’re attacked while picketing outside a workplace, it’s natural to turn to the National Labor Relations Board—the agency charged with protecting workers’ freedom of association. Yet when five union organizers in Los Angeles filed charges with the NLRB alleging they were brutally attacked by employees with 2x4s sent by Herix and Golden Gate Steel, building contractors they were picketing, the NLRB Regional Director actually dismissed the charges.

According to the lawyer representing the union organizers, Ellyn Moscowitz, the NLRB just informed her they decided not to pursue the case since it wasn’t clear who started the violence. Moscowitz noted, however, that the only witness claiming the organizers started the violence is the owner of the contracting companies that were picketed for alleged safety violations.

Undaunted by the NLRB’s decision, the organizers are continuing to pursue justice. They recently filed a civil suit with the Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging the companies unlawfully assaulted them because of their protected involvement in a labor dispute. Luckily, these organizers can seek protections from a state law when the federal government has left them out in the cold.

If the NLRB has a good defense for dismissing this case without even pursuing a complaint and administrative law judge trial, I’d be happy to hear it.

 
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Erin Johansson Erin Johansson writes our Eye on the NLRB blog.  Erin has worked as a Senior Research Associate at American Rights at Work since 2004 and is the author of some of our reports.  

 

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