GCA Services Enters Federal Consent Decree to Remedy Wide Ranging Accusations of Labor Law Violations

Airport Contractor had Fired Workers Involved in Union Organizing

Oct 11, 2011, 21:37 ET from UFCW

PHOENIX, Oct. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- GCA Services Group, Inc., a firm that contracts with the City of Phoenix to provide janitorial services at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, has agreed to entry of a consent decree by a federal District Court ordering the company to restore its employees' rights to organize a union without threats and intimidations.  

The resolution comes after the National Labor Relations Board's General Counsel's office accused GCA of illegally firing four workers for exercising their rights under federal labor law and taking other coercive actions aimed at deterring its employees from organizing for union representation.  The fired workers are Isabell Marquez, Yadu Rijal, Hamid Amiri and Geoffery Kachiolwa.  All had worked as custodians at the airport and are supporters of UFCW Local 99.  

In response to unfair labor practice charges filed by the Union with the Phoenix Region of the NLRB in May and August, the NLRB General Counsel's office issued complaints alleging over 100 violations of labor law.  The NLRB hearing was scheduled to begin on October 17th.   GCA has now agreed to both a formal settlement with the NLRB's General Counsel and to entry of a consent decree by the United States District Court for the District of Arizona to remedy the allegations.  Upon approval by the NLRB and the Court of the respective agreements, GCA must take remedial steps that include offering immediate reinstatement to Marquez, Rijal, Amiri, and Kachiolwa, removal of removing disciplinary notices from their files, and payment of more than $23,000 in back wages among the four employees.  GCA must also cease and desist from interrogating workers about their union sympathies, maintaining illegal work rules, threatening workers with reprisals for supporting the union, requiring workers to show their cell phones to see who they've been calling or texting, threatening employees by calling the police in response to lawful activity, and to an array of other steps guaranteeing its employees' rights under federal labor law.  The Court's order and the NLRB settlement must be posted at the worksite and will be read aloud to employees in their relevant languages in the presence of top management officials.

GCA workers have been working for several months to improve their access to health insurance, to earn fair wages, to share costs for their security badges and uniforms; and to end the requirement for a doctor's note for even a single day in which they are sick and cannot work.  GCA management refused to even meet with the employees, and just days afterward, the company terminated three employees who were trying to organizing the union.  It fired the fourth worker some weeks later.

Returning worker Isabell Marquez explains, "We have had an outpouring of support from our coworkers, from the community, and even from politicians.  We finally have our jobs back - but we are still seeking justice for our coworkers and will continue to bring respect to our workplace.  We want our coworkers to know their rights to form a union."  

Martin Hernandez, organizer at UFCW Local 99, states:  "The men and women who make Sky Harbor 'America's Friendliest Airport' must be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.  In particular, employees at GCA should be able to exercise their right to improve wages, benefits, and working conditions without fear for their jobs."  

What:  Airport Custodians Rally around Return of Coworkers
When: Wednesday, October 12th 3:00pm
Where: Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport

VISUALS:  Custodial Workers and community supporters to celebrate the return of their coworkers.  

INTERVIEWS:  Workers, community supporters  

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS:  Available upon request