Private equity firm Brookfield owns nuclear supplier Westinghouse.
In July, reports surfaced of Westinghouse management paying for third party created videos, leaflets, and other materials distributed to the workforce to discourage union membership, as well as coercive statements, rules, and actions aimed at intimidating workers from joining the union. The union filed multiple Unfair Labor Practice Charges over the summer and those have since been consolidated into one charge that is being investigated by the National Labor Relations Board’s Office of the General Counsel.
Westinghouse continues to face allegations of anti-union behavior, with workers filing an additional unfair labor practice charge in October. Management has hired labor consulting firm Littler Mendelson, notorious for its efforts to fight against unionization at Starbucks. “There is no question that we are retained by clients who wish to resist union organizing,” Arthur Mendelson once said. Westinghouse management has continued to hand out leaflets discouraging workers from joining the IBEW and additional allegations of unfair labor practices persist.
Westinghouse has collective bargaining relationships at other facilities, including in Pennsylvania and the United Kingdom. The disparate treatment of workers in the US South is part of a longer history of exploiting Southern workers that could result in labor disputes and headline risk that threaten investments.
This coincides with increased mediascrutiny of Brookfield’s current energy investments which a new report found emit over 13 times more CO2 per year than the figures Brookfield discloses in its most recent sustainability report.