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SEIU Local 32BJ files additional complaint against Lehigh Valley employer

01.13.11

JANUARY 2011, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

SEIU Local 32BJ files additional complaint against Lehigh Valley employer

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

LEHIGH VALLEY, December 15th- The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 32BJ filed another labor complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four in Philadelphia alleging an Lehigh Valley employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct).

The SEIU filed the Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge against Sodexo Inc., which is a food service contractor and provides food service for three Lehigh Valley hospitals, on November 30th.

The complaint was reviewed by the newspaper and alleges the Employer barred employees at Lehigh Valley Hospital on Cedar Crest Boulevard in Allentown from wearing Union shirts.

“In or around mid-September 2010, the employer participated in, acquiesced in, caused hospital security officers’ conduct in threatening to call police if employees, who were engaged in Section 7 activity did not move from the public sidewalk in front of the hosptial,” states the complaint.

In the previous edition of the newspaper it was reported the SEIU filed a ULP against Sodexo Inc. on November 1st, 2010 alleging the employer violated the NLRAct when the company interrogated a worker and wrongfully disciplined several workers for being involved with the unions’ attempt to organize fellow workers.

Union supporters at the medical center staged a one-day strike against the three hosptials on October 11th, to protest low wages, anti-union tactics and lousy benefits.

The three hospitals, the Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest, Good Shepherd, and Sacred Heart, cafeteria workers are part of a national campaign by the SEIU to gain a national labor agreement with Sodexo Inc. SEIU Local 32BJ of New York, NY is conducting a ten-state organizing campaign of the food service workers. Sodexo Inc., is headquartered in France.

In April workers marched in downtown Allentown near the Sacred Heart Hospital and the medical centers kitchen and cafeteria workers attended the event alleging Sodexo Inc. is using intimidation to keep them from becoming union members.

According to information provided on the ULP, the number of workers at the hospital employed in food service is 135.

The complaint was filed on behalf of the Union by a paralegal in the New York office of SEIU 32BJ. Her name is not illegible because of poor penmanship.

The Employer Representative named on the ULP to be contacted is George Chavel, indentified as the company’s CEO from Gaitherburg, Maryland.

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