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Third Week of TEMCO Trial Concludes —
Labor Board
Investigates Layoffs




UE News: TEMCO Trial Resumes Oct. 22; Local 684 Members Confident of Justice – and a First Contract (10/01)

UE News: TEMCO First-Contract Struggle Enters New Phase with Start of Federal Trial (7/01)

Press Release: Federal Trial Set for TEMCO; Workers Hold Their Own People's Court (6/01)

UE News: District 6 Meeting Reflects Activities, Concerns Of Busy, Fighting Union (3/01)

UE News: TEMCO Workers Choose UE; Reject Boss's Fear Campaign (1/00)

The trial of The Electrical Materials Co. (TEMCO) for numerous violations of federal labor law finished a third week on Oct. 24. Whether this was the final week depends upon the outcome of the National Labor Relations Board’s investigation of TEMCO’s discriminatory Sept. 26 layoffs. If the Labor Board issues a complaint on any or all of the charges filed by UE, the layoffs could be added to the case.

In the meantime, lawyers for UE, the NLRB and TEMCO are expected to submit final briefs by Jan. 15, 2002.

In the third week of the trial, the company placed on the witness stand TEMCO attorney Nietupski (the chief company spokesperson in negotiations) and the three top company officials, as well as a number of supervisors. Attorneys for UE and the NLRB vigorously cross-examined these witnesses, and presented five rebuttal witnesses, three of whom had previously testified.


TEMCO workers see the Sept. 26 layoffs as another example of the illegal conduct that brought the specialty copper company before a Labor Board administrative law judge.

"These are targeted layoffs," charges Mick Patrick. Speaking to the UE District Six Council on Oct. 13, the Local 683 Chief Steward pointed out that 14 of the 15 workers dismissed were union leaders, among them Crystal Pratt. A skilled worker with 25 years’ service, Pratt played a key role in the organizing committee.

Patrick asserted that the layoffs did not take into consideration seniority or the substantial skills of those laid off from the North East, Pa. plant.


Despite what they regard as TEMCO’s continuing disregard for their rights, UE Local 684 members remain confident that their employer will be brought to justice — and a first contract.

"We still have a majority, and morale is pretty good," Patrick told District Six Council delegates. "We’re not giving up. That’s what the company wants, but that’s not what the company’s going to get."

A spirited rally on Oct. 2 saw UE members from Locals 506 618 and 692 and labor singer Anne Feeney join with Local 684 members to demand a fair treatment and a first contract.


Earlier in the trial, the company, the union and counsels for the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board reached a settlement on allegations that TEMCO delayed provision to UE with information necessary for bargaining and processing of grievances. (On Aug. 28, company lawyers presented UE Intl. Rep. Debra Gornall with at least one document that she first requested in December 1999.) As part of that settlement, TEMCO has agreed to complete other longstanding information requests by Sept. 14, and to post a notice in the plant for 60 days acknowledging its delays and pledging to comply with the union’s request for relevant information.

The union scored a significant victory when the administrative law judge rejected TEMCO’s attempt to have part of the case against it dismissed.


The trial before an NLRB administrative law judge began July 9, prompted by a complaint issued by the Regional Director for NLRB Region Six. The complaint included more than 50 allegations that TEMCO has denied workers their rights under law. The allegations of unlawful conduct by TEMCO include:

  • Firing of an employee because of his outspoken support for the union.

  • Disciplining of several employees because of their union activity.

  • Management disregard for grievances.

  • Multiple unilateral changes in the terms and conditions of employment.

  • Bad-faith bargaining at the table.

UE News - 10/31/01 - Web

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