Arbitration Victory at Berkeley Farms

Having a union means that somebody’s got your back, and that’s just what it meant for a seven-year employee at Berkeley Farms, who had been fired for violating company policy by taking long breaks.

It turns out, the company relied on the use of video monitoring to determine the discharge. “The union had previously bargained that video surveillance could be used against its members only if it is not the sole source implicating a worker of wrong-doing,” explains Business Agent Doug Radonich.

The case first went to mediation in the spring, and when the employee refused a settlement, the union took it to arbitration. The union was represented by Andy Baker from Beeson, Tayer and Bodine.

The arbitrator found the company had failed to prove just-cause and agreed to sustain the union’s grievance in full. He ruled that, after 11 months of being off work, the employee should be returned to work with all back pay and benefits, plus interest at 10% per annum. In December, she received a check for about $65,000 and is back at work.

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