Alaska Communications Systems Holdings, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 20-1032 (D.C. Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Alaska Communications provides telecommunications services throughout Alaska and in Oregon. While most of the company’s employees are based in Alaska, some are in Oregon. The union that represents a majority of the company’s employees did not previously represent any of the Oregon-based employees and sought to hold a representation election among a subset of the Oregon-based employees. The National Labor Relations Board certified a voting group that differed slightly from the petitioned-for unit, 29 U.S.C. 157, and that group voted to join the preexisting bargaining unit. The petitioned-for unit encompassed 12 Cable Systems Group employees, including both Holmes and Pavlenko. The Board excluded those individuals as being supervisors and added the only two employees who had not been included in the petition, finding that their exclusion “would unduly fragment the workforce and render the proposed Voting Group an irrational and indistinct one.”
The D.C. Circuit rejected the company’s challenge to the certification of the voting group. The D.C. Circuit ruled in favor of the Board. The Board permissibly adjusted the composition of the voting group and permissibly determined that the group shares a community of interest with the preexisting bargaining unit it voted to join.