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FYI: A Service Employees International Union local is filing unfair labor practices against the state Department of Labor, charging DOL is deliberately undermining unionizing efforts among employees of its contractors. SEIU Local 200 United currently represents staff at the WeeCare Daycare Center, located in a DOL building on the state government’s Albany campus, and is reaching out to janitors there—employees of Pegasus Cleaning Corp. But the union claims DOL and the Office of General Services have restricted organizers’ access to the building and harassed the daycare center’s union members. DOL and OGS say they’ve simply told union reps to remain in public areas and argue that any dispute is between the union and the contractors—not the state. The point may be moot, however, since the union can’t find an arbiter to hear its case. State government agencies are exempted from National Labor Relations Board oversight and employees of contractors can’t appeal to the Public Employment Relations Board. That leaves the State Employment Relations Board, which takes up most private-sector cases NLRB doesn’t. But the state board’s not sure it can intervene either, since the charge is directed at a state agency not the private contractor. If the state board passes, Local 200 United is out of options. [11/15/02]

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