Tennessee Fuel Co. Settles Over Firing in Labor Opinion Dispute

December 21, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A Tennesee fuel services company agreed to compensate an employee it fired in August for calling a replacement worker who crossed the picket line a "scab."

Kim Gordon, a salaried, non-union worker, used the word “scabs” to refer to replacement workers during a time when United Steelworkers (USW) members were on strike at the Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS) facility demanding better benefits, better working conditions, tougher subcontracting restrictions and a company promise to keep its defined benefit plans, according to a USW news release.

The settlement includes a reference letter for Gordon, full paid family insurance until June 2007 and full back pay plus damages, according to the press release.

The union helped Gordon file the complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in September (See Union Files Unfair Labor Complaint Against TN Nuclear Facility) arguing thatGordon’s firing violated NLRB laws that allow non-supervisory employees to express their opinions on labor matters.

NFS had claimed it fired her for having “a work attitude not in keeping with the core values of NFS.”