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Labor Department transfers complaint to Washington office


December 2009, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Labor Department transfers complaint to Washington office


REGION, November 3rd- The Road Sprinkler Fitters Union Local 669, which is affiliated with the United Association of Journeyman and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry International Union in Washington, DC, complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four office in Philadelphia has been transferred to the agencies office in Washington DC.

The newspaper previously reported the union filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge on September 9th alleging a Lehigh Valley employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct).

The complaint alleges De Ja Vu Mechanical, Selfert Road in Nazareth, violated Section 8 (a), subsections (1) and (3) of the NLRAct.
According to the ULP, the union alleges the employer on or about May 11th, 2009, and again on May 14th, 2009, after Local 669 distributed information to their employees showing them the proper prevailing wage rates that they should have been paid, threatened employees that if they turned the Employer in for failing to pay prevailing wage under the Pennsylvania Wage Law, they would be fired. The complaint also alleges the Employer threatened employees with layoff for asking about the difference in their pay rate.

According to the NLRB, the ULP has been submitted for advise to the Washington office because of a issue surrounding whether workers of De Ja Vu Mechancial were paid the proper wage under the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act. Under the states prevailing wage law construction workers employed for the building and construction of government bodies such as schools and municipal buildings must be paid the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage.

According to Kim Green, Organizer of Local 669 and who filed the ULP on behalf of the union, the nonunion employer installs, maintains and repairs sprinkler systems, and was hired by several area school districts to conduct construction work including in the Nazareth School District. Local 669 represents workers within the construction industry that installs sprinkler systems.

Mr. Green stated the employer isolated employee Glenn Minnick from other employees to prevent him from continuing to talk to them about the proper pay rates they should be paid. The employer assigned overtime to employees other than Mr. Minnick in retaliation for his complaining about the Employer’s failure to pay the proper prevailing wage rates. And Mr. Minnick was terminated for complaining about and pursuing the proper wages on behalf of him and other similarly situated employees, and told him “good luck with what you are doing,” only four days after Mr. Minnick filed a state lawsuit to recover prevailing wages on behalf of himself and others similarly situated.

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