Preschool Teachers at Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center Narrowly Lose Union Election After Employer Hires Anti-Union Consultants

On March 10th, just three days after preschool teachers at Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center filed for a union election, the nonprofit brought in a team of union-busting consultants.

A month later, the unionization effort was narrowly defeated by a vote of 21-18. However, serious concerns have been raised about the strategy employed by Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center (JCC) located in Denver, CO.

Accusations of Illegal Anti-Union Activities

The center utilized Wildine Pierre Barrett, a labor relations consultant attached to Bridge Labor Solutions, who has a long record of evading federal disclosure rules. These rules require consultants like Ms. Barrett to provide workers with information about the terms and conditions of their contract so that workers can make an informed decision and know where the information they are being fed is coming from. By failing to disclose the arrangement with JCC, Ms. Barrett appears to have violated Section 203 of the Labor-Management Relations and Disclosure Act.

Nonprofit Used Funds to Fight Unionization

JCC, which is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, paid Ms. Barrett’s firm $450 per hour plus expenses for nearly a month in order to kill the teachers’ organizing effort. During the union-busting campaign at JCC, Ms. Barrett conducted coercive captive audience meetings and surveilled workers for nearly a month.

Legal Complaint Filed Against Consultant

LaborLab, a nonprofit organization that monitors labor relation practices, has filed a complaint against Wildine Pierre Barrett and her firm for evading disclosure laws and hiding their activities from the public.

Stronger Voice for Teachers?

While the outcome of the election may be disappointing for the teachers involved, it also highlights their strength. The fact that it was such a close election despite aggressive spending and legal evasion is a testament to their perseverance.