Tudor’s Biscuit World faces federal labor appeal News, sports, jobs

A former Tudor’s Biscuit World employee holds stickers with the United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400 local union logo in Elkview, W. Va. (AP Photo)

CHARLESTON, W. Va. (AP) – A well-known restaurant chain in West Virginia is facing a complaint from the National Employment Relations Committee after an investigation uncovered evidence that the company was illegally punishing and threatening employees who tried to form a union. Tudor’s Biscuit World executives are accused of violating federal labor laws when they suspended two employees who led a union effort at a franchise store location in Elkview, West Virginia, following a complaint signed by Matthew, regional director of the National Employment Committee. Denholm. The Denholm office is investigating benefits for unfair work practices for the federal government in parts of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia. The complaint also claims that Elkview Tudor managers have repeatedly told employees involved in union efforts that they could lose their jobs or have their pay reduced if they formed a union. One supervisor is accused of saying that anti-union employees could give to union-friendly employees “so much hell” as they wished. Tudor’s Biscuit World did not respond to a request from The Associated Press to request comment. In response to a complaint filed last week, Tudor’s lawyer denied any allegations of unfair work practices. The complaint against the Tudor franchise in Elkview, a city of less than 2,000 residents, echoes a major national movement of organization among retail and hospitality workers. Federal labor officials on Friday filed a massive complaint accusing Starbucks of unfair work practices at its Buffalo stores in New York City, including revenge against union-friendly employees. Denholm told the AP on Monday that an investigation into allegations at his regional office found “probable cause” to believe that Tudor violated federal law. The case will now be on June 13 in U.S. District Court before a Charleston Administrative Law Judge. The judge will then issue a decision and can recommend remedies to the entire National Labor Relations Committee in Washington, Denholm said. Relatively unknown outside the region, Tudor’s Biscuit World is the main ingredient of West Virginia, where visitors can get cookies made from scratch, topped with sauce; rural fried steak and sandwiches, including Rudar or Planince. Founded in Charleston in 1980, the chain now has more than 70 locations, mostly in West Virginia and parts of neighboring Ohio and Kentucky. Elkview Tudor employees have announced plans to form a union after saying the company did not warn them when a worker tested positive for COVID-19, and one worker who questioned the policy cut working hours. They said employees often had to work overtime to cover shifts, and then blamed them for overtime, among other things. When they started organizing, they said their employers were aggressively trying to thwart their efforts. When workers did not garner enough votes to form a union during the January election, organizers said they had filed charges against the company for unfair work practices and called for the vote to be rejected. Tudor employee Cynthia Nicholson, a 64-year-old cook who led Tudor’s union effort, said Monday she was thrilled to hear about the complaint.
“I really want to see something good out of this,” said Nicholson, who was one of the employees Tudor’s suspended. “If I hadn’t continued and taken this to the end, I would have felt that I was just as guilty as they were. I hope they learn that you can’t treat people like they are replaceable. We are human. “
Nicholson was inspired to form a union by her father and late husband, both union men who worked in mining and pipe fitting in West Virginia.
Just before he died, he said, ‘Cynthia, you’re going to do great things,’ she said of her husband who died of cancer. “I didn’t know what he was talking about at the time, but then it hit me when we started to get organized and get out. I would be so proud. “
United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400 director Alan Hanson, who helped Tudor employees file charges against unfair work practices against the company, said it was immediately clear to him that Tudor was trying to dissuade workers from organizing before the election.
“Businesses have a game book and are following it across the country – be it Tudor’s in Elkview or Starbucks in Buffalo,” he said. “Unfortunately, companies that are desperate to keep a union are willing to use all tactics.”
According to him, companies are more often not responsible for the actions they take to stop organizing campaigns.
“It’s hard to get workers, especially in small towns, especially from employers like Tudor’s, who have great cultural significance in places like West Virginia, to resist them and say, ‘What’s happening to me is not right,'” he said. “The workers themselves were the ones who bravely stood up and said, ‘We will not remain silent when the company violates our rights.'”

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