Local 673 Secures Reinstatement and Backpay for Laid Off Members
Member Reginald Jefferson of T.P.S./Chipper with Local 673 President Paul Hawkins
Based upon charges Teamsters Local 673 filed on behalf of 5 laid off employees with the National Labor Relations Board, the 5 employees were reinstated with back pay and back health and welfare and pension benefits of almost $150,000. The members also have all of their seniority rights restored along with all rights and privileges they previously enjoyed.
The members who were employed by Transport Production Systems, Inc. d/b/a/ Chipper Express were laid off and the work they were performing was transferred to other related companies. We took the position that the transfer was because of their membership in Local 673 and the company’s efforts to cut costs by having employees at other companies who received less wages and fringe benefits to perform the work.
President Paul Hawkins said, "Companies must honor their Collective Bargaining Agreements and treat our members with respect".
The case became complex because we had to demonstrate how separate companies constituted a single entity and that the unrelated companies were equally responsible for the layoff of our members. Teamsters local 673 presented substantial evidence (this was after an extensive investigation) to the NLRB and this resulted in not only the settlement but also the requirement that the companies post a notice setting forth the rights and limitations on employers discriminating against employees. The notice states,
“WE WILL NOT lay off employees because they are members of a particular union in order to discourage them from engaging in union or protected concerted activity”.
The Notice further states that they offer the employees “immediate and full reinstatement to their former jobs, without prejudice to their seniority or other rights and privileges, and make them whole with interest for any loss of earning or benefits connected with their employment status they may have suffered because of our discrimination against them.”
The notice and the settlement demonstrate the victory we were able to achieve for these members. Without Union representation they would have been on their own against the employer. Local 673 protected the members rights and secured their wages and lost benefits.
The Notice further lists the 5 companies as the “employer” which demonstrates that the NLRB considered them co-employers or what is called a “single entity”. This was a difficult issue to prove and we are proud of our success in securing such a decision.
Secretary Treasurer and Principal Officer Roger Kohler said, “Our members were severely aggrieved and the Union stepped in to protect them. We were able to get the NLRB to agree with us and secure their reinstatement, back pay and benefits.”