One of the few union organizing efforts in the fast-food business will get another chance. The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) lost an October 2010 unionization vote at Twin Cities area Jimmy John’s restaurants. But unfair labor practices charges against the franchisee who owns the 10 restaurants mean a new vote is likely in coming months.
The October vote was so close—employees rejected union representation 87 to 85—that the union senses victory the next time around. The chance for a new election is the result of a settlement between the union, franchisee Miklin Enterprises and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
After the October vote, the IWW filed NLRB grievances, accusing Miklin of illegally denying a raise to a union supporter, improperly interrogating employees about unionization and removing union literature from bulletin boards.
As part of the settlement, the NLRB nullified the October vote and authorized the IWW to request another election in the next 18 months.
Note: Workplace buzzing with talk of unionizing? Employers are free to explain why they don’t favor a union, but can’t threaten workers who support representation. Unions are allowed to post materials in the workplace. Of course, so can employers.