NLRB Denies Workers' Right To Join Union

The National Labor Relations Board has rejected the bid of Working Foremen in the Line Department of PSNH to join IBEW Local 1837. The Working Foremen work shoulder-to-shoulder with our represented Lineworkers and perform nearly identical work for the Line Department.


In a ruling dated March 20, 2008, the NLRB's Regional Director disagreed with the Union and agreed with Public Service Company of New Hampshire, finding that the Working Foremen - Line were statutory supervisors. Under the terms of the National Labor Relations Act, workers determined to be supervisors are not eligible to join a labor union and are not protected by the National Labor Relations Act. Working Foremen - Line in the Hooksett, Milford and Derry Area Work Centers had petitioned to be represented by IBEW Local 1837 in December of last year. Their petition was challenged by PSNH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Connecticut-based Northeast Utilities.

Despite the similarity of their role to that of our represented Lineworkers, PSNH fought back against the clear and overwhelming desire of these workers to join the Union. Workers performing the same or very similar jobs as the Working Foremen are union members at other IBEW-represented companies in New Hampshire, Maine, and throughout the Northeast.

IBEW 1837 presented a strong and compelling case that the Working Foremen were workers who had the right to join a Union. But in her Decision and Order, NLRB Regional Director Rosemary Pye said that the Working Foremen “are statutory supervisors based on their authority to effectively recommend promotions and responsibly direct employees” and she dismissed the petition for them to join IBEW.

This is the second time that the Working Foremen at PSNH have tried to join IBEW Local 1837. A previous effort in 1972 was also shot down by the NLRB.