IAM Western Territory Wins Landmark NLRB Ruling, Union Election for Colorado Homeowners Association Workers

In March, a road and facility technician working for the Crystal Lakes Road and Recreation Association in Colorado reached out to IAM about organizing a union in his workplace, consisting of himself and two other technicians.

IAM Western Territory Grand Lodge Representative Steven Van Wie collected union authorization cards and filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold a union election for workers to vote on representation by IAM Local 47.

“The biggest priorities for this group were dignity and respect in the workplace and safer working conditions,” said Van Wie. “They decided union representation was the best way to protect their working environment.”

The Crystal Lakes Homeowners Association (HOA) objected to the petition for election, arguing that the association does not qualify as an employer and is exempt from the NLRB’s jurisdiction, resulting in a hearing.

The NLRB Regional Director ruled that the board has a precedent of determining HOAs to be employers “as long as they take in more than $500,000 in annual gross revenue and participate in interstate commerce to a non-negligible degree.” 

IAM Western Territory Grand Lodge Representative Jason Hardwick was able to help prove that Crystal Lakes was qualified as an employer because the association takes in over $1 million per year and spent more than a thousand dollars on postage last year.

The NLRB determined that the association falls under its jurisdiction and authorized the three road and facility technicians to vote in a union election.

On May 6, the workers won representation by IAM Local 47 in their election.

“Our mission in the IAM is justice on the job,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “This group has the same rights to representation as any other private sector employees, and we’re happy to bring that representation to them. No matter the size of the unit, we’re going to help workers when they want a union.”

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