National Labor Relations Board Opens Investigation of Cost Cutters Hair Salon in Ithaca (Regis Corporation) for Unfair Labor Practices

(Ithaca) The National Labor Relations Board today is commencing an investigation of the Ithaca Cost Cutters Hair Salon/Regis Corporation (722 S. Meadow St., Ithaca). The investigation is commencing as a result of an Unfair Labor Practice complaint filed by the Tompkins County Workers’ Center (TCWC) on behalf of workers at Cost Cutters with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

If you haven’t taken part in our Fax Campaign to Regis Corporation/Cost Cutters yet, it would be very helpful if you did! Just go to (Our video on the situation, five minutes in length, can be found by clicking on

The body of the complaint filed by the TCWC with the NLRB against Cost Cutters/Regis says: “Since on or about August 15, 2009, it, by its officers , agents and representatives has interfered with, restrained and coerced, and is interfering with, restraining and coercing employees in the exercise of their rights to self organization, to bargain collectively with representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid and protection, or to refrain from any and all such activities, which rights are guaranteed by Section 7 of the Act, by , but not limited to, by requiring it employees to sign a document stating that the employee was revoking any executed union authorization card.”

Cost Cutters/Regis’ anti-union tactics came to light when an employee, Amber Little, was terminated for not being able to sell a required quota of company hair care products and came to the Tompkins County Workers’ Center (TCWC) to find out what her recourse was. In the course of the TCWC investigation, and in talking to numerous other present and past employees, the TCWC discovered what appears to be an illegal tactic practiced by the largest hair salon chain in the world, Regis, to keep employees from organizing a union (historically known as a ‘yellow dog contract’).

The Regis Corporation and Cost Cutters specifically has recently gotten national attention for its anti-worker policies (New York Times article (8/29/09) by Steven Greenhouse), particularly for requiring employees to sign statements promising never to unionize. In fact, employees at the Tompkins County as well as Cortland Cost Cutters were also required to sign the same such statements! William B. Gould IV, a Stanford law professor and former chairman of the National Labor Relations Board, was quoted in the 8/29/09 New York Times article as saying, “It seems like a modernized version of the old yellow dog contract,” a provision, now illegal, that many employers used to push workers to sign, pledging not to join a union as a condition of employment.

The Workers’ Center initiated an Action Alert campaign on Monday that has already generated over 400 faxes to Regis Corporation and Cost Cutter Management requesting that 1) Amber be reinstated to her position at the Ithaca Cost Cutters; 2) requesting that the Regis Corporation inform its customers of the sales quota workers must meet in order to continue working; 3) to cease and desist with the over-the-top anti-union corporate strategy.