By Brad Gardner | October 24, 2012
Toll’s United States operation will front the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in December to answer accusations it spied on and threatened workers with union sympathies.
The NLRB has pencilled in December 10 for a judge to settle a lengthy and heated dispute between Toll and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union.
NLRB Regional Director Mori Pam Rubin last month sent a consolidated complaint to Toll alleging it threatened, spied on and interrogated employees who wanted the Teamsters to bargain on their behalf.
Toll is also accused of promising benefits and improved working conditions to employees if they stopped supporting the union.
“[The] Respondent has been discriminating in regard to the hire or tenure or terms of conditions of employment of its employees, thereby discouraging membership in a labor organization in violation…of the [National Labor Relations] Act,” Rubin writes.
She is seeking an order requiring Toll to read a notice to employees stating the company committed unfair labour practices. But in a statement to ATN
, Toll expressed confidence the December 10 ruling will go its way.
“As with all of the charges that have so far been decided, Toll looks forward to having this remaining complaint adjudicated in our favour,” spokesman Christopher Whitefield says.
“Of all charges the union has taken to the NLRB to date, none, including subsequent appeals, have been upheld.”
Toll was earlier this year found not guilty of breaching the Act when it fired drivers Xiomara Perez and Steven Chavez.
The company is currently negotiating with the Teamsters after a majority of truck drivers voted to unionise. The union accuses Toll of denying workers basic rights, such as clean bathrooms and the use of restrooms.
Teamsters officials have jetted into Australia to attend Toll’s annual general meeting on October 26. Working with the Transport Workers Union (TWU), the Teamsters used last year’s AGM to raise its grievances and seek a meeting with then Managing Director Paul Little and his replacement Brian Kruger.