At Stockholm Meeting, Teamsters Confront Loomis' Labor Law Violations
STOCKHOLM, May 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Teamster Vice President Rome Aloise today asked Loomis AB to respect the rights of its American workers who have chosen Teamster representation.
In the United States, Loomis unilaterally decided that it will not allow its employees in California to continue to be represented by the Teamsters, and is refusing to bargain expired contracts or process grievances.
"It is an inherent human right for workers to be able to collectively organize and choose their union representation," Aloise told Loomis' executives at the company's annual shareholder meeting. "By violating this right, Loomis is in violation of internationally recognized labor standards."
Aloise said Loomis employees wanted to attend the meeting with him, but were not given permission to take vacation time from their jobs.
"These workers were afraid that they would be fired if they came here, now that they no longer have union protections," Aloise said. "But if they were here, they would tell you how shocked they are that after 58 years of Teamster representation, Loomis has walked away from these agreements."
Loomis has refused to meet with Teamster representatives since its decision to stop bargaining contracts. Its refusal to recognize its employees' right to collective bargaining with the union of their choice violates the International Labor Organization Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise and the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) multinational guidelines.
Aloise described to Loomis shareholders the abuses Loomis employees in America are facing.
"Armored truck guard is one of the most dangerous jobs in America," Aloise said. "Yet Loomis refuses to provide gun training and bulletproof vests, and reduced the armored truck teams from three to two people. On top of that, Loomis stopped pensions for its California workers and now makes them pay up to $1,000 per month for health care.
"These workers have seen their job protections taken away as well. Older employees with years of experience can be replaced by younger, less expensive employees at any time. Loomis would never dare treat their Swedish employees this way. So why are they abusing their U.S. workers?"
Loomis' Chairman Alf Goransson has pledged as the CEO of Securitas to obey the OECD Code of Conduct for multinational corporations, and has a worldwide agreement with the UNI Global Union to respect workers' rights. Yet at Loomis there is a double standard for U.S. workers.
Employees in California recently filed a class-action lawsuit against Loomis for violating state wage and hour laws. To avoid additional violations of the law, the company coerced employees into signing a waiver that allows the company to force workers to work through their lunch breaks.
Over the last decade, Loomis' American employees have also filed lawsuits for other wage and hour violations; refusing to reimburse employees for expenses related to training and equipment; civil rights violations; employment discrimination; racial discrimination; and violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Aloise asked Loomis shareholders to consider the harm being done to U.S. operations by repeated violations of U.S. labor law and class-action lawsuits.
Aloise said he hoped to resolve these problems with dialogue. But, he said, if Loomis continues to violate its workers' rights, the Teamsters will be left with no choice but to file a formal OECD complaint and to leverage the Teamsters' relationships with some of Loomis's largest customers. Aloise asked Loomis executives at the meeting for a commitment to meet with the Teamsters, but did not receive one.
Loomis Armored US Inc. provides armored transport, ATM, cash processing, and outsourced vault services to banks, financial institutions, commercial and retail businesses, hospitality companies, sports facilities, governments, schools, pharmacies and health care businesses. Loomis is a subsidiary of Loomis AB, the Swedish cash logistics corporation.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. For more information, please visit www.Teamster.org.
SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters