A group of workers with disabilities won the right to unionize—then a Trump labor board reversed that decision.
A group of Didlake employees began organizing in 2016. The group, which includes those with and without disabilities, work as custodians at the National Guard building in Arlington, Virginia. Didlake then argued the workers with disabilities were barred from voting in a union election.
“What we’re most concerned about is not being able to help our people with significant disables if the union comes between us and them,” Didlake CEO Donna Hollis stated.
Hollis also said in a statement, “Didlake is not anti-union and we are not saying that people with disabilities should not be able to unionize or be part of a union. […] We are highly concerned that unionization for people with disabilities participating in the AbilityOne program will threaten the rehabilitative services afforded under the program.”
Ahead of the election, one worker claimed that Didlake coerced her to vote against a union. The interaction was captured on video.
The union appealed the decision, alleging employer misconduct. After a hearing on alleged Didlake interference, a National Labor Relations Board official ordered a new election. Workers voted in favor of unionized in this second election. Didlake refused to recognize the union and challenged the NLRB's ruling. Workers then went on strike.
In May 2019, the National Labor Relations Board ruled in Didlake’s favor with two Trump appointees voting against one Obama appointee.