On April 25, art handlers at Chicago’s Mana-Terry Dowd, LLC will vote on unionization. This is a big deal: If won, the art handlers will join Teamsters Local 705, and could mark a major change in the city’s art landscape; currently, none of Chicago’s private art transportation companies have an art handlers’ union. With the vote coming up in just over a week, allegations have emerged charging Mana-Terry Dowd with voter interference. These charges include “interrogation” and “coercive statements” against current employees if they join a union.
In a statement we received from the Teamsters Local 705, six separate charges of unfair labor practices against the company have been reported to the National Labor Relations Board, an independent federal agency protecting the rights of union and non-union workers. The Teamsters claim that “management has been charged with threatening to fire or discriminate against workers who support the union, threatening to eliminate positions entirely, interrogating employees and purposefully including supervisors in the bargaining unit of eligible voters.”
More information on the individual cases is available on the National Labor Relations board website. All charges have been filed since March 2014 with the most recent filed on April 8.
Art F City has requested a statement from Mana-Terry Dowd; we’ll update the post with that information, if it becomes available.
Update: Art F City received copies of the formal complaints lodged against Mana-Terry Dowd by Teamsters Local 705. These links will bring up PDFs of those statements.