Employees of Jersey City Bike Share, similar to the Citi Bike, Divvy, and CoGo programs that appear in several cities, are seeking to organize a union in New Jersey. This is not surprising considering that the company is already unionized in Chicago and Washington, D.C. That isn’t the takeaway from this article, though. What is interesting is how the NLRB is dealing with the rapid growth of this company when it comes to appropriate bargaining unit issues.
In order to hold a union election, at least 30% of the proposed bargaining unit (the group who votes) must have signed a union authorization card. If a proposed bargaining unit consists of 50 employees, then at least 15 employees must have signed a card. But, Jersey City Bike Share is exploding in growth, so the 30% number is in flux, and the 30% that originally signed cards may not be enough for a union election by the time the election is held.
Specifically, Jersey City Bike Share currently operates 35 stations with 350 bicycles. But, it has agreed to expand to 50 stations with over 500 bicycles in 2016. While this expansion will require additional employees, the exact number was unknown at the time of the NLRB hearing. According to the Regional Director, “the mere possibility that the Employer may decide in a few months to hire an unspecified number of additional unit employees does not mean that its current workforce is not substantial and representative.” Note to the Company – hire your slew of new employees before the election.
Matt Austin is a lawyer based in the Columbus, Ohio office of Roetzel & Andress, LPA who limits his practice to representing employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can call Matt at (614) 723-2010 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.