ARTESIA — Picketing by striking service workers at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia have been ordered suspended to avoid court until August 3.
According to a news release from Omni Corporation, the order came from the National Labor Relations Board as part of a settlement reached between the Union and the NLRB.
After being found in violation of the National Labor Relations Act by the NLRB, the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 953 has agreed to a settlement that requires, among other things, picketing to stop until August 3.
The NLRB found the union in violation after starting an investigation on July 23.
Barry Dixon, the union’s president, was unable to comment on the subject on Saturday.
Dixon said, however, that he expected to the Union to release their own statement following the NLRB’s decision soon.
Workers went on strike June 25 at FLETC over disputes with their contractor, Omni Corporation, which would not sign a new collective bargaining agreement.
“Omni provided witnesses and statements to NLRB investigators that out-of-state, paid union operatives were coercing workers and FLETC officials,” a news release from Omni said.
In a prior news release from Omni Corporation it said that striking employees were performing unlawful actions, such as interfering with FLETC traffic by jumping in front of vehicles.
In addition to suspending picketing, “the Union is required to send a notice to all employees stating that the Union will not prevent individuals from exercising their legal rights,” the news release said.
In the notice, the Union states it will not restrain or coerce workers to exercise their rights.
Among the rights the union said it will not restrain is a worker’s right to not engage in activities, such as striking.
“Omni Corporation is pleased that the Union has been held accountable for its unlawful coercion of workers and others who wish to do business with Omni during the strike,” a news release said.
The settlement states that picketing by workers may resume at FLETC on August 4.
Sarah Matott can be reached at 575-628-5546.
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