I remember the late night meeting at the Workers Organizing Committee space when we determined that we had enough support to request an election. It was a meeting a bit different than the previous meetings because we were preparing to enter the legal framework of the National Labor Relations Board, the government agency that oversees the Labor law. The campaign from here to the election would be different.
I shared with the committee, the employer could employ several strategies to delay the election. Once the election is requested the employer would be required to provide a list of eligible employees who will be eligible to vote. I told everyone that there could be wrangling about who is eligible to vote and other legal issues that could delay the election. At this meeting my job was to communicate to the supporters what to expect and what delaying tactics might be used by Powells.
My metaphor was that we were about to get into a canoe and ride down the rapids to election day. My message; it was important to know that we were entering a new time, the period between the request for the election and the actual election day. I said I didn’t know how long it would be until we actually had the vote. So we were getting in the canoe, the water might be rough for a stretch, we would ride the rapids, but we were on our way to an election. The vote was something the organizing committee had been working toward for months.
The petition was filed in the next few days.
Here is the recognition clause, the legal description of the bargaining unit at Powells.
The Employer recognizes the Union as the sole and exclusive bargaining representative of all employees employed by the Employer at its Portland-metropolitan-area facilities; but excluding all confidential employees, managerial employees, guards and supervisors as defined in the Act.