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A California Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) Judge has issued a decision blasting the University of California (UC) for multiple violations of state labor law by sending mass communications that interfered with California public sector workers’ rights to form or join a union. In an extremely rare move, the judge also ordered the University of California to pay Teamsters Local 2010’s legal fees, finding the violations to be intentional and egregious.
This week’s call our attention to Ronn English, an independent contractor with links to Kulture and TAG. As this LM-20 shows, TAG is most likely an acronym for The Alton Group, English’s own company. Using different acronyms and name variations on different forms is a common tactic of union busters to intentionally confuse. Also, according to this LM-20, Kulture paid English $300/hour in July 2020. For those who don’t remember Kulture, refer to John See’s reporting on Peter List and the QAnon affiliated union busting firm. Case documents even reveal English mocking an NLRB proceeding.
Under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), union-busting consultants (also referred to as “union avoidance consultants” and “labor relations consultants”) must disclose to the U.S. Department of Labor when they’ve been hired by an employer to directly or indirectly persuade workers against forming a union. They must do so within 30 days on a Form LM-20. Less than 20% of union busters comply with this rule. In fact, the number is likely even lower - much lower.
Just exactly who are these union busters?
Surprisingly, there is a lot of information to be gleaned from Form LM-20 about the individuals who plan and run captive audience meetings, follow employees around the workplace asking questions, and otherwise “persuading.”
This Ohio Charter School and its Consultants are Union Busting, Hiding Information from the Public, and Abusing Tax Dollars
KIPP Columbus, a charter school located in Columbus, OH, is conducting an aggressive union busting campaign targeting teachers and staff. According to a recent report from the , KIPP Columbus refused to voluntarily recognize the union (affiliated with the Ohio Federation of Teachers) and then began holding captive audience meetings intended to coerce employees into opposing unionization.
Since April of 2022, Trey Kovacs, a former Special Assistant at the US Department of Labor, has been working for Amazon as a union-busting consultant. He has been holding captive audience meetings at ONT8 in Moreno Valley, California.
Under Federal Law, union-busting consultants (referred to as "persuaders") must notify the the Department of Labor within thirty days of being hired by a business. They report these "arrangements" on something called an LM-20 report. According to a recent LM-20 dump, Nekeya Nunn, President of the union-busting consulting firm The Labor Pros, clearly believes she is above the law.
This August, Chipotle workers at a store in Lansing, Michigan made history by becoming the first unionized restaurant. On August 25th they voted 11-3 to join the Teamsters Local 243. What’s important to note is that these workers may be the first “recognized” union but they weren’t the first to file. Two months prior, Chipotle workers at a location in Augusta, Maine became the first store in the US to file for a union election with the NLRB. However, a month later, the fast food chain unexpectedly closed the store in Augusta, denying that it was related to union organizing. The 43-15 podcast talked with Brandi Mcnease, a co-founder of Chipotle United, who lost her job when the Augusta store closed.
RELEASE: First-of-its-Kind Scorecard Allows Users To See How Often Union-Busters Violate Federal Reporting Rules
Today, LaborLab released a groundbreaking interactive analysis of the union-busting industry: an LM-20 Scorecard, which brings to light a very serious crisis of transparency and accountability within the union-busting industry.
Target is one of the top ten retailers in the United States, according to the National Retail Federation, raking in nearly $105 billion in sales in 2021. Adam Ryan and Mary Yarn, are two Target workers organizing their respective stores in Virginia and Colorado at the multi billionaire dollar retail chain. The 43-15 podcast spoke with the two organizers and the similarity of their accounts on the company’s union-busting tactics points to a deeply connected industry.
Listen to the 43-15 episode here