The IWW Sisters’ Camelot Canvass Union went before an administrative law judge on June 6 and 7 to uphold the NLRB’s finding of unfair labor practice, and to uphold the decision that the firing of the striking canvasser was retaliatory and illegal.
The judge found that:
Respondent [Sisters’ Camelot] has essentially conceded that Christopher Allison’s [the fired canvasser] contract or employment was terminated in part because of the Union’s demands… But for these demands and Allison’s role with respect to these demands, he would not have been terminated. Thus, if he was an employee, his termination clearly violated Section 8(a)(3) and (1)…. Respondent did not have to terminate Allison as a result of the Union’s demands. I would note that a remedy for Christopher Allison, if his termination is found to violate Section 8(a)(3) and (1), would be reinstatement to his position as a canvasser and backpay.
However, he also decided that the canvassers are correctly classified as independent contractors, and therefore are not protected by the National Labor Relations Act. Hence, even though Sisters’ Camelot clearly engaged in union-busting behavior, it was technically not illegal.
The Minneapolis NLRB disagrees with this decision, believing that Sisters’ Camelot canvassers are misclassified as independent contractors and should be treated as employees under the eyes of the law. The case is being appealed to the Washington DC board.
The full judge’s decision can be found here.