Third Week of TEMCO Trial
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
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.
‘NOT GIVING UP’
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
TRIAL BEGAN JULY 9th
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
Firing of an employee because of his outspoken
support for the union.
Disciplining of several employees because of their
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