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Gap accused of anti-union policies

Under the National Labor Relations Act, workers in the United States have a right to organize for the collective good and engage in barganing and other concerted activity to improve their conditions, benefits, and pay. 

Unfortunately, not all employers comply with this law and some try to skirt it using unsavory means. A recent lawsuit against nationwide retailer The Gap is an example of this. A  man is suing the clothing retailer for wrongful termination, saying that he was fired because management believed that he was interested in orgainzing a union at the store. 

More specifically, store management believed that the maintenance supervisor was a "salter" meaning someone who sought employment with the company for the purpose of organizing the workforce. According to the lawsuit, the company instructed managers to try to identify "salters" by telltale behavior and to avoid hiring them or to contact human resources if they suspected someone of being a "salter."

The man says that he was identified as a possible "salter" after management met to attend a seminar entitled "Working Together" which was initiated after a distribution center became unionized. When the man was picked out as someone who may want to unionize he was questioned repeatedly about it and made to meet with human resources on a regular basis even though no other supervisors had meetings with HR regularly.

Clearly the concept of rooting out employees who may be interested in organizing a union goes against the very concept of the right to organize and if the allegations are true then The Gap may be perpetuating illegal policies.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "No Unions Allowed at The Gap, Worker Says," Kyle Anne Uniss, June 17, 2013.