Organizing Temporary Employees Under the National Labor Relations Act
With the prevalence of temporary employment agencies and temporary workers in the workforce, it has been difficult for Unions to organize temporary workers who enter a previously organized workplace. In Oakwood Care Center, 343 NLRB 659 (2004) the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that bargaining units that combine employees who are solely employed by a user employer and employees who are jointly employed by that same user employer and an employer (temp agency) supplying employees to the user employer constitute multi-employer units, which are appropriate only with the consent of the parties. In other words, both the employer and the temp agency must consent before the regular full time employee and the temporary employees could be represented by a Union. That has changed. In Miller & Anderson, Inc. and Tradesman and Sheet Metal Workers International Association, Local Union No. 19 the NLRB overruled their previous decision in Oakwood Care Center and found Employer consent is not necessary for units that combine jointly employed and solely employed employees of a single user employer. Instead, the NLRB will apply the traditional community of interest factors to decide if such units are appropriate to be combined in a bargaining unit.
This should make it easier for Unions to organize temporary employees who are brought in to the workplace.