Agent employees of Prudential Financial have narrowly rejected a proposal from the Professional Employees Union to represent them.
When the ballots were counted at the Newark, NJ office of the National Labor Relations Board on Monday, a majority rejected the proposal by a margin of 811 to 748. 41 ballots were challenged, but they are an insufficient number to affect the outcome. Some 1600 agents, out of 1990 who were eligible, voted in the election.
According to a report by the Associated Press, Union representatives expressed disappointment at the result, while Prudential spokeswoman Laurita Warner expressed the company’s satisfaction with the outcome and indicated that “We are especially pleased with the number of agents who voted.”
The AP noted that the result was somewhat unexpected, as Prudential Agents are presently without union representation. Last fall the United Food and Commercial Workers declined to continue representing Prudential agents, citing a decline in membership. Prudential has recently converted a number of previously employed agents into independent contractors.
Union representatives also charged that the company had unfairly portrayed the Union in a videotape sent to the agents, which, among other things, stated that if the vote were successful all of them would be required to pay union dues. Warner said only that the company had presented factual information to the agents “to help them make a decision.”|”prudential, agents, reject, union
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