In yet another obstacle to justice, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia granted Rural Metro’s petition for review, vacating the NLRB Board Order. The finding was not based on the merits of the case, but rather on the invalidly appointed General Counsel for the NLRB, Lafe Solomon. Mr. Solomon was not confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and therefore was acting without authority at the time the Local I-60’s complaint was issued.
While this is a major set-back, it is not a loss. This morning myself and Vice President PJ Elias reviewed the court’s opinion with our legal counsel and are exploring several options to continue moving forward. Some of those options involve petitioning for a re-hearing in-front of the entire panel of judges (rather than the three judge panel that issued this opinion) and appealing it to the Supreme Court of the United States. Another option is to seek a re-issue of the initial complaint and re-try the case from the beginning with a valid General Counsel.
No judge, Board or judicial panel has found issues with the merits or facts of our case — only the technicality in which initial complaint was issued by the NLRB.
It’s highly likely that the National Labor Relations Board will act swiftly to remedy this technicality as it covers almost two years of action across the country’s NLRB regions.
In response to today’s decision, Vice President PJ Elias stated “it is safe to assume that Rural Metro knows that if it wasn’t for this technicality, they would owe that money now. If we, the Local I-60, do not pursue this, Rural has won this battle in the most cowardly way possible.”
We will continue the fight, and we will continue the victories. Today’s ruling does no more than add another level of complexity to this battle.