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More complaints filed against PPL by IBEW Local 1600

03.28.09

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

More complaints filed against PPL by IBEW Local 1600

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

LEHIGH VALLEY, March 6th- The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Union Local 1600, Grange Road in Trexlertown, filed additional complaints with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four in Philadelphia alleging PPL Corporation violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct).

In the previous edition of the newspaper, it was exclusively reported the union filed three Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges in January with the NLRB alleging the Allentown based electric utility company violated the NLRAct.

According to a complaint filed on January 2nd, 2009, and obtained by the newspaper through the Freedom of Information Act, the Union alleges the company violated Section 8, subsections (1) and (5) of the National Labor Relations Act.

“On or about October 9th, 2008 and thereafter, the above named Employer has refused to bargain collectively with IBEW 1600. The unilateral implementation of a new Tailboard Sheet is a change in wages, hours and working conditions. The subject matter on the Tailboard Sheet was a mandatory subject of bargaining,” states the ULP.

On January 5th, 2009, a union member of Local 1600 filed two ULP’s with the NLRB alleging the company violated the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act.

Unfair Labor Practice case number 36518 states the “Employer failed to provide requested information needed by a representative of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1600 to investigate grievance number 08LE043. The original request was made in writing on September 12th, 2008. A second request was made on November 18th, 2008. Several verbal reminders were provided in between written requests,” states the complaint.

James T. Caffrey filed the complaint on behalf of Local 1600.

According to the two complaints filed on January 5th, 2009, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union Local 1600 represents 3,535 employees of PPL.

ULP case number 36519 was also filed by James T. Caffrey. The complaint alleges PPL management personnel is proforming union bargaining unit work.

The “Employer is assigning management personnel to proform bargaining unit work. Employer has failed to provide information to an IBEW Local 1600 representative for complaints and grievances pertaining to that work. The requested information is needed to investigate the complaints and grievances,” states the Unfair Labor Practice charge.

The newspaper has learned the union filed three more complaints on February 9th, 2009 with the NLRB alleging labor law was violated by PPL management.

“The above named Employer, by and through its agents has failed and refused to provide to the Union despite a request for relevant information. In particular, the Employer has failed and refused to provide a contract with a subcontractor so that the Union can investigate to determine whether or not a violation of its collective bargaining agreement has occurred,” states ULP case number 36584, and obtained by the newspaper through the Freedom of Information Act. The employer representative to contact on the ULP is David Ling.

ULP case number 36586 alleges Mr. Caffrey was disciplined because of comments made by him during a grievance meeting. The “Employer disciplined a union steward, James Caffrey, for comments made during a collective bargaining agreement mandated grievance complaint meeting at which time Mr. Caffrey was acting in his capacity as a union steward. In addition, various Managers and Supervisors have advised Mr. Caffrey that he is “under a microscope” and that he is otherwise being watched and his activities being scrutinized,” states the Unfair Labor Practice.

Case number 36587 states the “Employer unilaterally assigned supervirors to perform bargaining unit work without mandatory collective bargaining, and in total disregard of Article 8.12(a) of the parties collective bargaining agreement.

Should it be found the NLRAct was violated the agency could seek monetary fines or other remedies to rectify the situation and make any employee whole for his/her loss of wages and or benefits.

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