Workers files complaint against the town over dismissals

A Connecticut labor union has filed a complaint against its town, charging it retaliated on its employees who voted to unionize. The complaint, filed with the Department of Labor, states an employee was wrongfully terminated from her position as a result of her participation in the union movement. The town denies the allegations.

According to the council of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the town of New Canaan intervened inappropriately and pressured its workers from exercising rights to form a working union. A representative from the union has issued a statement that the complaint has been shelved until the town and union could attempt to negotiate, in the hope of crafting an equitable solution.

There are 34 employees who plan to unionize. The group claims there are no collective-bargaining agreements and will plan a membership meeting in a few weeks that will hopefully lead to the drafting of a contract.

In the complaint, the workers state the results of a special election last month voted 19-15 for the right to unionize. It goes on to assert that the town acted in a retaliatory manner by singling out the workers who were in favor of the unionization efforts and exerted coercion in disciplinary actions as well as dismissal.

Human Resources has denied these actions, explaining that movements to unionize have never been targets of discrimination. She further pointed out that no employee has ever been let go due to activity in the press to intend to form a union. And so around it goes, one side says yes, the other says no, with “he said, she said” denials exchanged on both sides.

While the right to unionize has been a labor issue since the Industrial Revolution, it has also been an ongoing issue in the negotiations between labor and management disputes. In order to make sure a worker has fair and equitable treatment, free from discrimination or wrongful termination for exercising labor rights, it is necessary to review the law and inform oneself of any nuances contained therein.

Source: newcanaannewsonline.com, “Town, union spar over retaliation, dismissal charges” Nelson Oliveira, Jan. 16, 2014

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