DB Schenker USA has enlisted the services of East Coast Labor Relations, LLC, operating under “Reliant Labor Consultants, Inc.,” to manage a union-busting campaign targeting “production handlers” organizing with the NFFE-IAM union in Virginia. Led by Joe Brock and Rian Wathen, East Coast Labor Relations is notorious for its union-busting activities, and the details surrounding their collaboration with DB Schenker are raising eyebrows.
According to filings with the US Department of Labor, DB Schenker USA is reportedly paying East Coast Labor Relations a substantial $3,500 per day for their services. This financial commitment underscores the importance DB Schenker places on thwarting unionization efforts among its production handlers.
The controversy deepens with revelations that East Coast Labor Relations failed to file the required disclosure paperwork with the US Department of Labor on time. This failure is a clear violation of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), designed to ensure transparency in labor relations. The late filings highlight a systemic issue of low compliance within the industry.
The LMRDA mandates that union-busting consultants submit disclosure paperwork promptly upon being hired. This is crucial for ensuring that workers have access to information they are entitled to before a union election. Unfortunately, compliance with this law appears shockingly low, with East Coast Labor Relations becoming another example of an industry-wide problem.
The contract between East Coast Labor Relations and DB Schenker reveals explicit objectives aimed at preventing the filing of a Certification Petition and securing a favorable outcome in an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The consultants commit to achieving a withdrawal of the petition without facing meritorious election objections or unfair labor practice charges.
Interestingly, the contract emphasizes the importance of DB Schenker maintaining a positive image throughout the campaign. East Coast Labor Relations advises the employer to communicate with employees without resorting to “mud-slinging” and encourages a focus on a positive message about the company.
The collaboration between DB Schenker USA and East Coast Labor Relations sheds light on the contentious world of union-busting tactics. As the labor movement strives to protect workers’ rights, such campaigns pose challenges and ethical questions. The late filings and explicit objectives outlined in the contract raise concerns about transparency and fairness in labor relations. This case serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggles for workers seeking to exercise their right to organize and the need for increased scrutiny and accountability within the industry.
Join LaborLab in defending workers' rights! As the sole nonprofit watchdog committed to tracking and exposing companies hiring union-busting consultants, we empower thousands of workers monthly. In the face of persistent challenges, we alert workers and the public to union-busting campaigns and expose violations of the rights of workers. As a nonprofit, our work relies on supporters like you. Your donation directly fights union-busting, supports our reporting, and empowers more workers. Help us create a workplace where rights are upheld. Donate today and stand with us for economic justice, the labor movement, and fair working conditions. In solidarity, The LaborLab Team