Written by by By Lisa Rapp
There are traditionally two types of unions: chuparos — a union of land interest — and tradestra — a union of interest in business or industries.
There are also traditionally two types of unions: chuparos — a union of land interest — and tradestra — a union of interest in business or industries. The latter tends to result in a unionized work force and higher wages for some workers and lower wages for others.
The post-crisis labor market has resulted in unions and employers arguing about the benefits of maintaining a traditional class of workers and the workers in a traditional union versus a traditional unionized workforce.
But on April 11, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry confirmed that Murphy Exel at Monaca, Pennsylvania, will be a tradestra in this case, not a traditional union.
On the basis of the collective bargaining agreement that was reached between Murphy Exel and the United Steelworkers District 1 in 2015, the department concluded that the labor agreement concluded at the time does not have the same status as a traditional union. The work force is defined as being “an in-house union operation.” The Department of Labor and Industry had the final say on the determination as the existing collective bargaining agreement does not qualify as a traditional union.
The prevailing rule in the workplace is that a party seeking to organize an employee must receive a license from the Department of Labor and Industry as necessary to begin a union organization process. The licensing process is governed by Act 10, which was signed into law by Gov. Tom Corbett in 2012.
Murphy Exel, a supplier to the insulating steel industry, had been included in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for all employees and was in the midst of a multi-year negotiation with its employees regarding retirement and health benefits, according to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) complaint filed against the company on May 8, 2015.
“This ruling is very concerning to our company and its employees,” the United Steelworkers District 2 chairman, Dave McClain, said in a news release. “The union’s vigorous efforts to organize its employees was thwarted by the increasingly aggressive tactics of this company over the past year. It is another devastating blow to employees who are stuck in limbo.”