After probing the nuts & bolts of ready mixed concrete dispatching, scheduling of pro-union drivers based on seniority, and front versus rear discharge mixer truck operation, the NLRB has resolved a protracted dispute over alleged unfair labor practices in Indianapolis
Sources: National Labor Relations Board, Washington, D.C.; CP staff
After probing the nuts & bolts of ready mixed concrete dispatching, scheduling of pro-union drivers based on seniority, and front- versus rear-discharge mixer truck operation, the NLRB has resolved a protracted dispute over alleged unfair labor practices in Indianapolis. In a recent 27-page decision, the board ordered Spurlino Materials, LLC to compensate drivers for lost wages tied to work-scheduling violations and adhere to collective bargaining practices with Teamsters-affiliated Local 716 (Coal, Ice, Building Material, Supply Drivers, Riggers, Heavy Haulers, Warehousemen and Helpers), certified to represent drivers and batch operators.
Board members reviewed a series of briefs and exceptions Spurlino Materials and Local 716 counsel filed in response to an administrative law judge’s December 2007 rulings on Labor Act violations. The rulings applied to a consolidated compliant alleging violations during 2006-07 at a) a portable batch plant built to supply the Lucas Oil Stadium, new home to the Indianapolis Colts NFL franchise; and, b) the Kentucky Ave. ready mixed plant in Indianapolis, one of three sites Middletown, Ohio-based Spurlino Materials acquired from American Concrete in 2005.
The NLRB found in particular that three drivers, each members of a Local 716-backed bargaining committee formed shortly after the American Concrete assets changed hands, had been subjected to discriminatory scheduling practices on the Lucas Oil project prior to deployment of a portable batch plant. That resulted in their making fewer deliveries from the Kentucky Ave. plant to the stadium site, where a project labor agreement bound concrete suppliers to wage rates above those Spurlino Materials set for normal deliveries.
Additional Board-cited unfair practices concerned the portable plant, which the producer built adjacent to the stadium site about five months into construction. The NLRB questioned a failure to follow bargaining protocol in staffing of the facility, along with the use of a qualification test in which drivers accustomed to operating front discharge trucks–the prevailing vehicle type throughout Indiana’s concrete fleet–were required to demonstrate their skills with rear discharge models.
Beyond the Lucas Oil Stadium project, the NLRB cited Labor Act violations tied to Spurlino MaterialsÌ use of a subcontractor for deliveries to a 16,000-yd. Indianapolis warehouse project in early 2007.