A group of frustrated restaurant workers secretly recorded conversations with management at the Boathouse Restaurant who “routinely threatened and retaliated against them for trying to organize a union.”
Fed up with their treatment by management, dozens of waiters and dishwashers have been reporting to work for the past year armed with miniature cassette recorders and have taped hundreds of workplace conversations.
The tapes have been submitted to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to determine if the Boathouse Restaurant violated labor laws, specifically the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
The NLRA, also called the Wagner Act after its sponsor, Senator Robert F. Wagner, was amended in 1935. It gives employees several important rights:
- To self-organization.
- To form, join, or assist labor organizations.
- To bargain collectively for wages and working conditions through representatives of their own choosing.
- To engage in other protected concerted activities with or without a union, which are usually group activities (two or more employees acting together) attempting to improve working conditions, such as wages and benefits.
- To refrain from any of these activities. (However a union and employer may, in a State where such agreements are permitted, enter into a lawful union-security clause).
Let’s hope the tapes contain enough evidence that the NLRB rules in favor of the employees at the Boathouse Restaurant. Solidarity!