Feds Find Unfair Labor Practices At Kieft Bros.

NLRB Administrative Law Judge Arthur Amchan has ordered Elmhurst, Ill.-based precaster Kieft Brothers Inc. to reinstate nine employees who were laid off in late 2008; reimburse them for certain lost wages and benefits; and, recognize Teamsters Local 673 as its truck drivers’ representative

Sources: National Labor Relations Board, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

NLRB Administrative Law Judge Arthur Amchan has ordered Elmhurst, Ill.-based precaster Kieft Brothers Inc. to reinstate nine employees who were laid off in late 2008; reimburse them for certain lost wages and benefits; and, recognize Teamsters Local 673 as its truck drivers√Ć representative.

The late-July ruling followed a trial earlier this year based on a consolidated complaint in which a company employee, Teamsters 673 and Laborers Local 25 alleged unfair labor practices in management’s response to fall 2008 union organizing campaigns. The charging parties also alleged discriminatory motivation in the layoffs of five drivers and four production workers; three of the nine had combined company tenure exceeding 65 years. The drivers were part of a bargaining unit that approved Teamsters 673 representation in October 2008. The production workers were among members of a bargaining unit Laborers 25 sought to represent in an early December election that fell two votes short.

Judge Amchan examined the allegations in light of management and ownership changes at Kieft Bros. In 2005, the family-owned producer was sold to KBI Holdings Inc., in turn managed by Freedom Venture Partners. In advance of last year’s union organizing drives, KBI Holdings sought to overhaul a staff-wide incentive and bonus program, partly to reflect a challenging financial outlook. In addition to Kieft Bros., Freedom Venture oversees another former family-owned, northern Illinois precaster, DiCicco Concrete Products in Chicago Heights.