Linemen, mechanics, and meter readers employed by Caney Fork Electric Cooperative are attempting to unionize and have filed for a union election late last month. Caney Fork Electric Cooperative is a utility company based in McMinnville, TN. The company has hired ALG HR Solutions this month to resist the unionization effort involving IBEW Local 429. However, it appears that ALG HR Solutions subcontracted Labor Relations Institute (LRI) to "persuade" workers against forming a union. LRI is one of the most prominent and aggressive union-busting firms in the country.
The right of workers to form a union is a fundamental right that is enshrined in the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRA guarantees workers the right to organize, join, or support a union. However, some employers see unions as a threat to their business and may attempt to prevent their workers from unionizing. This is where union-busting firms like LRI come in.
Union-busting firms use a variety of tactics to discourage workers from unionizing, including intimidating workers, threatening to fire them, and spreading misinformation about the union. These tactics are often illegal, and workers have the right to file unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) if they believe their employer has engaged in these activities.
The use of union-busting firms is particularly concerning in this case because ALG HR Solutions has hired one of the most aggressive firms in the country. It suggests that Caney Fork Electric Cooperative is willing to go to extreme lengths to prevent its workers from unionizing. This is unacceptable.
The attempt by linemen, mechanics, and meter readers employed by Caney Fork Electric Cooperative to unionize is a fundamental right that should be respected. The use of union-busting firms like LRI to prevent workers from exercising this right is unacceptable. Workers should be allowed to decide for themselves whether they want to unionize, and employers should not be allowed to interfere with this decision.
Published May 3, 2023