Defying union buster, biotech workers unionize at Yecuris


Workers at Tigard-based Yecuris voted 9 to 6 to join Teamsters Local 206 in a March 8 union election.

Founded in 2007, Yecuris introduces human liver cells into mice for lab research, selling the mice to labs and contracting with biotech and pharmaceutical companies to perform research on the mice.

Workers decided they wanted a union to win transparency and fairness in pay, promotions, and responsibilities. But in the weeks leading up to the election, Yecuris launched an anti-union campaign, hiring a union-busting consultant at $2,000 a day for 10 days. 

The consultant, Nathan Sweet of National Labor Relations Advocates, literally introduced himself to workers as “the union-buster.” For weeks he held one-on-one meetings trying to create fear about unionizing. 

Local 206 says some of the anti-union campaign’s tactics violated labor law, like telling workers that unionizing might cause the company to become unstable and collapse, and disciplining union supporter Aaron Wortham. Local 206 filed several unfair labor practice charges that are pending investigation by the National Labor Relations Board. 


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