PITTSBURGH, Jan. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that B&H Photo Video, a major retailer of electronic photograph and video equipment, violated federal labor laws when it announced plans to close two Brooklyn, N.Y. warehouses where workers voted to organize with the union in late 2015.
The union filed unfair labor practice charges against B&H with Region 29 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Jan. 13, 2017, a day after the company advised USW representatives of its decision to move the operations 75 miles away to New Jersey during negotiations for a first contract covering more than 330 workers.
USW District 4 Director John Shinn questioned the credibility of B&H management's claim that it could not find a suitable alternative location in the New York City area.
"Moving to South New Jersey will make it difficult, and certainly a challenge, for employees currently relying on public transportation to accept employment offers at the new site," Shinn said. "This is clearly an illegal tactic designed to avoid the company's obligation to bargain in good faith."
Shinn said that B&H warehouse employees chose USW representation in spite of management's threats to fire employees who voted for the union and will continue to fight for their right to bargain collectively.
"As a union, we know that as long as we stay united, our solidarity will prevail against the challenges before us," Shinn said. "In addition to our legal filings, we will reach out to elected officials and community leaders to ensure B&H warehouse workers receive a fair opportunity for their voices to be heard on the job and at the bargaining table."
The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in manufacturing, metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.
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SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)