Retailers File Amicus Brief in Micro-Union Case

NRF Joins Other Business Organizations in Support of Nestle Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, Inc.

"The NLRB is allowing unions to fashion unreasonably small and specific bargaining units in an effort to ensure successful attempts to unionize workers"

NRF Senior Vice President David French

WASHINGTON, January 13, 2015 – The National Retail Federation joined with other business organizations today in filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in the Nestle Dreyer case. The case before the court challenges the National Labor Relations Board’s use of the Specialty Healthcare rule to determine what properly constitutes an appropriate bargaining unit.

“The National Labor Relations Board continues to operate in its own world in an all-out effort to assist its allies in Big Labor,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. “Through its manufactured manipulation of long-standing labor law to advance the cause of ‘micro-unions’, the NLRB is endangering the employer-employee relationship and fracturing Americans’ workplace.”

The brief was filed along with the Coalition for a Democratic Workforce, International Foodservice Distributors Association, National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, National Council of Chain Restaurants, National Federation of Independent Business, Society for Human Resource Management and U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It contends that the court should invalidate the NLRB’s judgment against Nestle Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, Inc. because it fails to consider workplace realities and extends preferential treatment to a specific group of employees.

“The NLRB is allowing unions to fashion unreasonably small and specific bargaining units in an effort to ensure successful attempts to unionize workers,” French said. “These ‘micro-unions’ of specific employees within a given business are wholly impractical in the modern American economy and only give rise to segmented divisions of employees, disjointed benefits and income and reduced customer service.”

The issue at hand is the NLRB conclusion that the ice cream manufacturer violated national labor law due to its failure to recognize and negotiate with organized maintenance employees. The company contends that a bargaining unit must be compromised of both its manufacturing and production employees from its manufacturing plant. NLRB applied the Specialty Healthcare rule in its determination.

About NRF
The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.