Thursday, November 27, 2008

Union Files Unfair Labor Practice Charges On Behalf Of Nail Polish Workers In Newburgh

Teamsters Local 445 have gone to federal court against Concept Packaging owner Jeffrey Fanning for firing workers for supporting the union.
The factory, which employs 62, mostly women, is the country's second-largest bottler of nail polish.

Local 445 filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board claiming Fanning harassed, threatened and ultimately fired at least 10 workers for signing a petition to join the Teamsters.

Fanning denied the allegations, saying 19 workers were laid off, because business was slow. So it was just a coincidence that the lay-off was exactly at a time when those particular workers asked to be represented by the union. Yea, ok.

Local 445 officer Adrian Huff said, "There were workers who were there four years who were fired, and others with less than six months who remained at work."

Fanning's attorney, Glenn Grindlinger, has been publicly silent.

A union election was scheduled for Nov. 14 but was called off by the NLRB after Local 445 charged Fanning with unfair labor practices. Once again, we have the exact reason why we need the Employee Free Choice Act passed.

The vast majority signed cards for the union and within the month prior to the election they were threatened, some fired, and most had the crap scared out of them by the employer.

Interestingly enough, the Teamsters reported that immediately after the NLRB notified Fanning the election was canceled, the workers were rehired.

"Within two days of Fanning receiving that letter, people were brought back to work," Huff said. "That was very telling."

In addition to harassing workers, Huff said, managers illegally attended union meetings and staged an anti-union rally outside the factory.

....and what a fake and phoney attempt that was by management to make it look like it was the emplyees own rally. Talk about a stupid move!

"We've never before had a case where management so blatantly broke the law," he said. "We've never had a case where management actually came into our union meeting. Usually they stay outside with binoculars."

Local 445 is filing the Unfair Labor Practice Charges on behalf of the employees who claim they were intimidated and harassed, but Huff said now the people are scared.

"They don't want to give affidavits because they're so afraid of losing their jobs"

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has complaints of unsafe conditions at Concept Packaging, where employees describe poor ventilation, noxious fumes, broken toilets and dead rodents.

In August, one worker collapsed, suffering respiratory arrest and partial paralysis of his arm and face, and according to one complaintant,when the employee tried to return to work, he was fired.

Officials at OSHA have confirmed that the office "has two open and ongoing inspections" at the plant.

After collecting the workers' affidavits, Huff said, Local 445 will request an injunction ordering Fanning to pay the fired workers for the time they were unemployed, and to post bilingual notices clearly stating the company's actions were illegal.

If the injunction is granted, the union will immediately reschedule the election.

Too bad that all of this was the result of workers who had nothing trying to better themselves. It shouldn't be like this and soon it won't be!

President Obama and company will pass the Employee Free Choice Act into LAW and make sure of it!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This whole story was a shame. Those people were scared to death after their boss fired such a large group. Hope the labor board comes down on him hard.