Judge orders manufacturer to rehire truck drivers fired for union organizing

A National Labor Relations Board judge has ordered a Philadelphia manufacturer to rehire and give back pay and benefits to 13 truck drivers the company terminated last year for discussing forming a union.

Cardboard box maker Pratt Corrugated Logistics maintained it terminated two workers for poor performance and the remaining 11 after it decided to contract its pickups and deliveries to outside trucking companies.

However, Administrative law judge Robert Giannasi rejected the company’s version and dismissed the credibility of two managers who oversaw the trucking operation who were witnesses in the action, according to a Morning Call report.

The ruling followed a months-long investigation by attorneys for the federal agency and a three-day hearing conducted in January in Philadelphia.

In a 28-page ruling issued Mar. 12, Giannasi characterized the company’s actions as a “wholesale effort to defeat the union.”

In addition to thousands of dollars in back pay due to the drivers, the ruling could result in the remaining Pratt truck drivers getting union representation. In an election held last year to determine if a majority of the workers wanted to organize under the Teamsters, the union was rejected in May by a vote of 4-1.

However, the votes of 12 terminated workers were set aside pending the outcome of the labor board investigation. As a result of the Labor Board ruling the votes of the terminated drivers will be counted and could reverse the election’s outcome.

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