A federal labor arbiter ordered a Kansas union to stop threatening bodily harm against union dissidents it was supposed to represent in a grievance case.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) sanctioned the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 70, Local 839, an AFL-CIO affiliate, (IAM), for using intimidation tactics against dissidents. The board's regional director concluded the union had used threats of physical abuse and had attempted to get non-members fired from Spirit Aerosystems.
He ordered the union to:
Cease and desist from:Attempting to cause or causing Spirit Aerosystems to discharge employee-members because of their dissident union and and/or other protected concerted activities. Threatening employee-members with bodily harm or impeding their grievances because of their protected concerted activities. Discriminatorily and/or arbitrarily processing employee-members' grievances because of their protected concerted activities.
The union dismissed the charges in a statement following the April decision.
"We are aware of the decision and believe it was wrongly decided on the facts and the law," District 70 Directing Business Representative Frank Molina said in a statement.
Jarrod Lehman and Ryan Hastens were employees at the Wichita plane manufacturer and previously held leadership posts with the union. They filed unfair labor practice complaints against the IAM in July 2014 alleging that the union pushed for their firings against company policy.