PITTSBURGH, Aug. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) announced today that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has found merit in an unfair labor practice charge alleging B&H Photo, an electronics retailer in New York, refused to bargain in good faith over a first contract with union-represented warehouse workers.
In cases where the NLRB finds sufficient evidence to support a charge, the agency attempts to facilitate a settlement between the parties. If no settlement is reached, the NLRB will file a complaint against the employer and begin administrative hearings over the allegations.
The USW filed unfair labor practice charges with NLRB Region 29 in New York on Jan. 13, a day after the giant retailer advised the union of its decision to move its Brooklyn, N.Y., warehouse operations to Florence, N.J., some 75 miles away.
USW District 4 Director John Shinn said the USW will continue to support the approximately 335 workers at two Brooklyn locations who voted overwhelmingly to join the union in November 2015.
For more than a year, a bargaining committee elected by the B&H workers and supported by USW staff negotiated with the company over contract language and held meetings to update workers and receive their input on various bargaining proposals.
"It looked like we were making real progress towards a first contract until January of 2017 when B&H informed us all that it was closing its Brooklyn operations and reopening in Florence, N.J.," Shinn said.
B&H employees, largely Hispanic immigrants, chose the USW in overwhelming numbers despite management threats to fire workers who supported the union. The USW received valuable assistance from the Laundry Workers Center, a New York non-profit organization that provides community leadership training.
After the election victory in Brooklyn, some 100 workers who staff a warehouse underneath the company's flagship store in Manhattan also voted to join the union and continue to seek an initial contract.
The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. For more information: http://www.usw.org/.