Bauer's Agrees to Disband Fake Company Union

Bauer's Intelligent Transportation, the local tech shuttle operator whose giant black and green buses are currently ferrying thousands of Dreamforce attendees around the city, has agreed to a settlement with the Teamsters Union and the National Labor Relations Board that requires it to stop recognizing a “sham” company union and allow workers to organize with the Teamsters. 

The settlement, which was signed Monday, Sept. 14, comes just weeks after the NLRB sought an injunction against Bauer's for what the Board described as the “unlawful foisting upon its employees of a textbook, sham 'company union.'” As SF Weekly reported last month, the NLRB only seeks such injunctions a few dozen times a year, for particularly egregious violations of workers' rights. 

In the NLRB's petition for the injunction, the board's attorneys alleged that a Bauer's supervisor had founded the “Professional Commuter Drivers' Union” in order to stave off a real union organizing drive. The petition alleges that the supervisor induced workers to sign a blank piece of paper, which was then affixed to a PCDU unionization petition and “used to furnish a veneer of legitimacy to Bauer's recognition” of the PCDU. 

[jump] Under the terms of the settlement, Bauer's does not admit to violating federal labor law. However, it does agree to cease and desist from recognizing the company union, enforcing the company union's collective bargaining agreement, performing surveillance of employees engaged in union activities, and interfering with workers attempting to organize with the Teamsters. The settlement also requires Bauer's to allow the Teamsters to post information on company bulletin boards and gain access to employee break rooms to meet with workers for one hour each week. 

Yesterday, following the settlement, the director of the NLRB Region 20 ordered a secret ballot election to be conducted for Bauer's workers to decide whether to join the Teamsters Union Local 655. The election will likely take place in October, according to Doug Bloch, a spokesman for the Teamsters. 

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