To bring attention to sneaky labor tactics, the Center on National Labor Policy (CNLP) spoke out Monday on how a barbershop was almost forced into a union in the name of national security.
It all started back in 2012 when Joyce Cayli and her husband found themselves in a legal fight with Local 2 of the Teamsters union and the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB). The couple owned and operated a small haircutting salon located at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana.
“We are a tiny little company, just me and my husband,” Cayli told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “It was frightening.”
The business hadn’t been open long when the couple was contacted by the Teamsters. The union told them they had to unionize their employees because contractors on the base were already under a labor agreement. Despite this the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), which handled her contract, assured Cayli she was not under a labor agreement. Still, union officials continued to harass her on a daily basis.
“It’s very scary and you just don’t know what to do,” Cayli went onto say. “They came after me.”
When the union was unable to prove such a labor agreement actually existed, the NLRB stepped in. After Local 2 filed a complaint with the board, officials said the shop had to unionize anyway because of national security reasons.
“How can this be true,” Cayli said of her initial reaction. “How can cutting hair effect my nation’s security?”
The NLRB argued that having their business on a military base meant it was subjected to the National Defense Standard. The policy allows the NLRB jurisdiction and cause to mitigate disputes if a labor strike at a military facility could disrupt national security.
With mounting pressure from the Teamsters and the NLRB, Cayli turned to Mike Avakian at CNLP for help. Avakian argued that the board couldn’t prove the shop had an impact on national security because it mostly served the families of servicemen. The base didn’t even require the shop to cut uniformed haircuts. In 2013, Avakian was able to get the case thrown out.
That, however, wasn’t the end to the dispute. Cayli noted she has been under increased scrutiny from labor board officials since the win.
“Since then we feel we’ve been targeted,” she said. “Once you win, you really win, and the big guys see you are on their radar.”
Avakian also isn’t done with the case. He has filed to get attorney fees paid back because the NLRB was unable to substantially justify its charges. Over a year later, the request is still pending. In the meantime CNLP is trying to make people aware of the case to show the kind of tactics unions and the NLRB use.
The NLRB and Local 2 did not respond to requests for comment from TheDCNF.
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