The National Labor Relations Board has petitioned Dayton’s U.S. District Court for a preliminary injunction against Mikesell’s, alleging unfair labor practices.
The civil action brought on behalf of the Teamsters alleges that the Dayton potato chip maker should have bargained about sales routes that have been sold to other entities.
The complaint said that the Teamsters Local Union No. 957 and Mikesell’s have been without a ratified contract since November 2012.
In the past year, the NLRB complaint says that Mikesell’s has sold off four different sales territories that have been covered by union drivers to other distribution entities. The complaint said Mikesell’s sold one route on July 11, 2016, two on Aug. 29 and one on Sept. 12.
The petition said Mikesell’s had a duty to inform and bargain with the union. The union said its been the exclusive collective-bargaining representative for Mikesell’s drivers since 1982.
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The union seeks that five days after any court order, the businesses that bought the four affected routes be notified that they will be terminated within 30 days and for union drivers to be re-installed after that.
The union said it also has requested but not received documents showing the profitability of the routes, a copy of the agreement between the company and the entity supposed to receive the routes, a description of how the Mikesell’s product is to be received and a copy of all correspondence between Mikesell’s and the company purchasing the routes.
“The petition speaks for itself,” said attorney Jennifer Asbrock, who said she’s represented Mikesell’s as outside labor counsel for about a decade. “We obviously disagree with the petition in several respects as well as with the memorandum in support of the petition and we will be zealously defending the company.”
Asbrock said that the sales territories were sold to independent contractors after drivers retired or resigned. She said this action only affects the Dayton distribution center.
The wider-range NLRB complaint will be argued in front of an administrative law judge on May 31 in Cincinnati.
Asbrock said any preliminary injunction hearing would be heard in Dayton at a date determined by a Dayton judge, if they see merit in the petition and call for a show-cause hearing.
Mikesell’s supervisors listed in the petition are: Phil Kazen, executive vice president of sales and marketing; Beth Meeker, human resources manager; Dennis Franklin, RSD manager; and Luke Mapp, vice president.
Messages left on Tuesday with the NLRB attorney bringing the case were not immediately returned.