Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:25 pm
Employees at a Frito-Lay Inc. warehouse in Menomonee Falls will vote tomorrow on whether to decertify the union that represents about 126 employees there.
This is the second attempt at the election since a petition was filed with the National Labor Relations Board in June 2011, showing 30 percent support for represented employees to vote on whether they want representation by Teamsters Local Union 344. An election was first held in November 2011, said Irv Gottschalk, Milwaukee regional director of the NLRB.
“This is a rerun election,” Gottschalk said. “There were election objections, we investigated, (and) they were found to have some merit.”
The objections included allegations of “promises of increased wages, fringe benefits and other improved terms and conditions of employment” if employees voted the union out and “threats of discipline, discharge and the imposition of unfavorable or adverse conditions of employment” if they did not.
The company and union came to a settlement in September 2012, Gottschalk said. The agreement included a rescheduled decertification election, which is to be held Thursday.
“We are aware that on Thursday, the National Labor Relations Board will conduct a secret ballot election to determine whether employees at Frito-Lay’s Menomonee Falls site wish to stop their union representation or continue union representation by the Teamsters union. This is being conducted because Frito-Lay employees filed a petition with the NLRB, seeking an election that could bring this group’s representation by its union to an end. The union has not notified Frito-Lay of any planned protests or demonstrations at this time,” a Frito-Lay spokesperson said in a statement to BizTimes.
The union’s contract with Frito-Lay ran from Feb. 15, 2008, to February 15, 2011. A petition can be filed near to or after a contract expires to take a vote on whether to continue representation.
“There is a scheduled (decertification) election that the NLRB is conducting on Thursday,” a union representative said in a statement. “While there is no protest or other demonstration planned, the union will have a presence at the location to encourage our members at Frito-Lay to support continued representation by our Local Union.”
After the election, the employer, petitioner and union will have seven days to file any objections. The NLRB will determine whether those objections affect the outcome, and investigate if necessary, Gottschalk said.