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Duke appeals DUP Workers Union’s legal certification from National Labor Relations Board

Courtesy of @DUPWorkersUnion on Twitter.
Courtesy of @DUPWorkersUnion on Twitter.

Duke filed an appeal contesting the legal certification of the Duke University Press Workers Union by the National Labor Relations Board, according to a Tuesday tweet from @DUPWorkersUnion. 

Earlier, the union was legally certified on March 21 after the NLRB overruled all of Duke’s objections to the election. The union will remain certified unless the NLRB issues a stay—during which election proceedings will be halted—or the NLRB accepts the University’s appeal. 

Until then, workers will still have union benefits such as just-cause employment, status quo rights and Weingarten rights. Just-cause employment outlines that Duke cannot fire or retaliate against an employee without sufficient reason. Duke also may not change employees’ current working conditions under status quo rights. Weingarten rights allow employees to have a DUP union representative with them at any meeting “that might lead to disciplinary outcomes,” according to the tweet. 

Employees originally voted for legal certification last June, with 35 votes in favor of unionizing and 31 against. The vote resulted in eight challenged ballots, though five were later dropped. 

A week after the vote count, however, lawyers representing the University petitioned the NLRB for a re-run election, citing “administrative failures” and technical issues during the ballot count. In October, the NLRB overturned this request, a decision Duke then appealed with a request for review.

An NLRB regional director ruled against a new election in December and determined that the three challenged ballots were eligible to be counted. Duke and DUP leadership subsequently requested a review of the regional director’s decision. Last month, the five-member NLRB dismissed Duke’s request

The final tally, including the challenged ballots, resulted in a majority in favor of unionizing. Despite requests from the union for Duke to respect the election results and begin bargaining, Duke appealed the results and unsuccessfully pushed for a second election. 

Union members did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.

Ayra Charania | Senior Editor

Ayra Charania is a Trinity junior and a senior editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.


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