If you are driving around the City of Beavercreek, you may see union picketers standing at the intersection of Grange Hall and Dayton-Xenia Rd. claiming R.B. Jergens is “unfair” to its employees. This is an unusual sight in our area; what is even more unusual, is that those holding the signs are not even Jergens employees. They are instead representatives of Local 1410, the Laborers International Union of North America.
Fred Jones, the main contact for Local 1410 is claiming that R.B. Jergens is forcing its unionized employees to switch unions, to Operators Union in order to continue to be employed by the company; Jones also claims that Jergens allowed the renew the labor contract expiring on May 1. Documents obtained by the Greene County Herald and attached below however show that on February 9, 2010, Victor Roberts, vice president at R.B. Jergens notified Ralph Cole of Laborer’s District Council of Ohio and Fred Jones of Local 1410 that the company intended to modify, amend or terminate the contract.
Roberts also disputes the account given by Local 1410 and claims that R.B. Jergens was “attacked” by organized labor in August of 2009 when the union filed a grievance against the company for subcontracting electrical work for traffic signals to other workforce.
The union grievance went before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), an independent federal agency and after an investigation taking almost a year ruled in favor of R.B Jergens in a 3-0 decision, stating the the work properly belonged to the electrical union, not to the Laborers'.
Since the contract notice was sent out on February 9, more documents show Jergens representatives have repeatedly asked the labor union to come to the table for a new contract or for negotiations to modify the existing contract, however union bosses refused to acknowledge, contacting the company on May 3 via a letter from an attorney asking the company to no longer contribute to the employees fringe benefits fund.
As a result of this refusal to negotiate, R.B. Jergens filed an “unfair labor” grievance with the NLRB, stating the union is refusing to bargain in good faith, and purposefully allowed the labor contract to expire on May 1.
Owner Bill Jergens offered employees the option of moving into the Operators Union to maintain bargaining status, keep current salaries, benefits and pensions. According to Jergens, all employees with the exception of two accepted the offer.
Right now it is unknown how this labor dispute will affect the Grange Hall intersection project, but according to Roberts, this labor dispute will not affect deadlines and the project completion schedule.
|Jergens Union Exchange.pdf||1.03 MB|