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Without Bush Board in the Way, NLRB Steps Up Enforcement
Written by Erin Johansson   
February 04, 2008

When the National Labor Relations Board shrunk to two members last month, NLRB General Counsel Ronald Meisburg was granted the authority to pursue 10(j) injunctions without needing the approval of the Labor Board.  

Meisburg is now pursuing an injunction that, if approved by a federal district court, will force an employer to offer interim employment to 85 mineworkers that it illegally refused to hire.   These workers could get immediate relief while their case is pending at the Labor Board.  I hope this case is a sign that the NLRB is stepping up as a more aggressive prosecutor on behalf of workers.

Since Mammoth Coal took over as a successor to a union-represented company in 2004, it discriminatorily refused to hire 85 workers because of their union membership and activism.  Mammoth refused to recognize and bargain with the union, and declared that it would operate “union free.”  In October 2006, the NLRB issued a complaint against the company, and in November 2007, an administrative law judge ordered the company to offer jobs to the 85 workers and bargain with the union.   Not surprisingly, Mammoth appealed the ruling to the Labor Board.  Meisburg’s decision to pursue injunctive relief could put these workers back on the job despite their employer's tactic to keep out the union.