During a Senate HELP Committee hearing on nominations to the National Labor Relations Board (NLBR) yesterday, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) shared the story of Susie Stetler, a former SEIU member.
Watch Senator Franken tell Susie's story:
More on Susie's story:
Susie Stetler is waiting on $40,000 in back pay that was withheld by her employer when she was illegally fired.
Susie was a bus driver for special needs students for Visions of Elk River, a company that transports children to the Elk River School in Minnesota. The company employs bus drivers, van drivers, and aides that accompany special needs children in the buses and vans. In August of 2009, the company fired five employees (two drivers and three aides) who were active, vocal supporters of SEIU and had previously participated in campaigns to organize the bus and van drivers. Susie was one of those workers fired.
The firings were motivated by the workers' involvement in past union activity and the employer's express desire to "get rid of" union people. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found in September 2012 that the employer had violated the law by terminating the employees and ordered full back pay and reinstatement to their former positions.
The employer appealed the case to the D.C. Circuit. However, on February 7, 2013, the D.C. Circuit placed the case in abeyance following the decision in Noel Canning, further and indefinitely delaying enforcement of the NLRB decision as the drivers and aides approach their four year anniversary of being terminated.
After she was fired, it was hard or Susie to find another job. She decided to go back to school and has since moved to Wisconsin to care for her mother. Susie and her fellow co-workers who were fired are left in limbo, wondering if they will ever receive the back pay that is due to them.
The only way that Susie and her co-workers can find justice is for the Senate to confirm all five nominees to the NLRB.
We are so honored that Senator Franken shared Susie's story at the NLRB confirmation hearing. Because of him, the public was able to hear Susie's story as an example for why the NLRB nominees must be confirmed. We are extremely grateful to Senator Franken for agreeing to share Susie's story.