Closing a three year-old representation case, the National Labor Relations Board has ordered Amalgamated Industrial Workers Union Local 61 to reimburse
Closing a three year-old representation case, the National Labor Relations Board has ordered Amalgamated Industrial Workers Union Local 61 to reimburse employees of Dura Art Stone Inc. in Fullerton, Calif., for any dues or related wage withholdings since October 2002. In a decision issued late last year, NLRB officials also directed the producer of planters, bollards and other specialty precast site furnishings to cease recognition of Local 61 as a bargaining agent for placing and finishing staff, forklift operators, welders, and drivers.
A December 2005 order followed two and half years of Board and U.S. District Court proceedings related to a complaint the NLRB filed in response to a challenge of Local 61’s bargaining agent status by Pittsburgh-based United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers Union. Toward renewal of a three-year contract, Dura Art Stone rank and file who were covered by a collective bargaining agreement through October 2002 had informed management of their dissatisfaction with Local 61’s representation and consequent desire to change agents. United Electrical national pursued contract negotiations on employees’ behalf and was certified by the NLRB as their bargaining agent in November 2003. A two-year contract was ratified in August 2004, as Dura Art Stone staff formed UE Local 1031.
Alongside the labor matters have been Chapter 11 proceedings from Dura Art Stone’s June 2005 petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California – Riverside. Documents filed in December indicate a panel venture as the cause of financial problems and state that company principals are attempting to relocate production to Mexico. A committee of the company’s top 20 unsecured creditors Û none cement or aggregate suppliers Û objects to the proposal, which Dura Art Stone officials contend will keep their business viable.