The National Labor Relations Board said Tuesday it will file an unfair labor practice complaint against Greyhound Bus Lines and seek a nationwide injunction barring misconduct by the union in its 11-week-old strike.
"The (NLRB's) general counsel has concluded that certain allegations (by the unions) are best resolved by the board based on record evidence presented to an administrative law judge," the labor agency said in a statement.The board said the complaint against Greyhound will allege that the company "implemented certain bargaining proposals prior to reaching impasse."
"The complaint will also allege that the current strike is an unfair labor practice strike," the statement read.
If sustained, the complaint would protect the jobs and seniority of the 9,300 workers currently on strike against Greyhound.
The Amalgamated Council of Greyhound Local Unions has been on strike against the company since March 2.
Violence has marred the strike frequently, including more than a score of shooting incidents on highways. A picketing driver in Redding, Calif., was killed early in the strike when a bus driven by a replacement driver hit him.
Both sides filed charges with the NLRB.
The NLRB said the unfair labor charges would be filed in Milwaukee.
Greyhound, in a statement issued in Dallas, said it is "confident we will prevail" in the hearing but would appeal "all the way" to the Supreme Court if necessary.
"Meanwhile," said P. Anthony Lannie, Greyhound vice president, "there is no change in the basic issues." He said the union has "demanded far more than the company could afford" and "the replacement drivers we have hired have permanent jobs."
The union also called the NLRB decision to file the complaint against the company "a positive development."
In the statement issued Tuesday, the NLRB said that in addition to filing the unfair labor practice charge against the bus line, the agency's general counsel would also allege that the "union engaged in various acts of violence, mass picketing and other picket line misconduct."
The statement said the general counsel had sought and obtained permission from the full NLRB "to seek a nationwide . . . injunction to enjoin such conduct."
The statement also said that general counsel Jerry Hunter had dismissed the union's allegations that the company "had engaged in overall bad faith bargaining."
"Similarly, the general counsel concluded that the employer's refusal to meet and bargain with the union until the widespread violence ceased was, under the circumstances here present, lawful," the statement said.
Those allegations were also dismissed.
The latest meeting between Greyhound and its union occurred on May 5 but was adjourned indefinitely after nine hours of fruitless talks.
On May 7, Greyhound chairman Fred Currey told a news conference the strike was "irrelevant" and that the company had hired enough replacement drivers to serve the towns and cities that provided 98 percent of its pre-strike revenue.
"From a (striking) drivers' point of view, the strike is over, or at least irrelevant," Currey said.
He also said the company had no intention of rehiring most of the strikers.
But if the NLRB's unfair labor practice complaint is upheld, the company would be required to bring the strikers back when it settles with the union.
In its most recent contract offer to the union, the company sought a four-year wage freeze and the elimination of some 4,500 union jobs, including those of 2,000 of 6,000 drivers.
Greyhound also sought to change the manner in which drivers are paid, from a 30 cents-a-mile pay scale to an hourly wage of $12.79.