Labor Board rejects Murray’s imposed contract


A contract Murray’s restaurant imposed on UNITE HERE Local 17 members must be rescinded, according to a decision by the Region 18 office of the National Labor Relations Board, Local 17 president Nancy Goldman reported May 15.

She said she expected a pending settlement will restore the prior contract and its terms and conditions.

Murray’s imposed a contract March 1 after workers twice voted to reject contract offers that would mean significant concessions (Labor Review, March 19, 2010).

The union maintained that Murray’s never really bargained in good faith and filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board, arguing that Murray’s imposed the contract “prior to reaching impasse.”

“They were rushing to impose because they wanted what they wanted to impose,” Goldman said. “What they did is unlawful… They wanted to break the union.”

Murray’s, located in downtown Minneapolis, has been a union house through three generations of family ownership.

Many Murray’s employees have worked there 10, 20, 30 years or more, thanks to union wages and benefits.

The contract Murray’s sought to impose cut wages 10 percent for all non-tipped employees and required so many hours of work in a month that almost all workers no longer would qualify for paid health insurance.

“We filed the charges because we knew we never had engaged in true bargaining with them,” Goldman said. “The Board found merit in what we said.”

“We’re in the process of reaching a settlement,” Goldman said. Until a final settlement was signed, she declined to discuss specifics, except to say that the goal would be “making workers whole for what they lost.”