Union busting at NIEHS?

Union organizers at a federal science agency have failed in their efforts to unionize researchers and technicians there, prompting allegations of suppression and union busting. In a mid-May ballot, scientists and technicians at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, voted against establishing a union. According to the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), there were 70 votes against forming the union and 43 for it. The numb

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Jun 30, 2009
Union organizers at a federal science agency have failed in their efforts to unionize researchers and technicians there, prompting allegations of suppression and union busting. In a mid-May ballot, scientists and technicians at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, voted against establishing a union. According to the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), there were 70 votes against forming the union and 43 for it. The number of voters, said Gerald Cole, regional director for the FLRA's San Francisco office, was far less than the 216 NIEHS "professionals" -- defined as workers with advanced degrees who are not direct supervisors -- who were eligible to vote. "I'm not sure I can explain why 100 people who were eligible to vote decided not to vote one way or the other," Cole told __The Scientist__.
NIEHS headquarters in North Carolina

Image: NIEHS
Bill Jirles, program...




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