WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 -- Workers employed by Quebecor World, Inc. and the Graphic Communications International Union (GCIU) filed 9 new unfair labor practice charges against the company with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) today. The charges concern alleged company misconduct at its Covington, Tenn., and Versailles, Ky., printing facilities.
These new charges come on the heels of a complaint issued by the NLRB on September 29, which formally accused Quebecor World of violating U.S. federal labor laws on 22 other counts at the Covington facility and a company plant in Corinth, Miss. The complaint is equivalent to an indictment under NLRB procedures.
The new charges filed today demonstrate a continued pattern of coercion by Quebecor World management in an effort to deprive workers of their right to form a union, union leaders charge. Workers employed at the Covington facility filed seven charges alleging that Quebecor World unlawfully fired employee Lamarcus Hicks in retaliation for his pro-union actions; interrogated, threatened, and retaliated against pro-union employees; and prevented employees from distributing and possessing union literature. Workers employed at the Versailles facility filed two charges alleging unlawful retaliation and threats because of union activity.
"Management has instilled an atmosphere of fear through threats, harassment and even firing people because of their support of the union here in Covington," stated Jackie Wherry, a worker employed at the Covington, Tenn. plant. "This is unfair and unlawful and we deserve to have our rights respected."
The NLRB had previously found merit in three unfair labor practice charges filed in May by workers employed at Quebecor World's Versailles, Ky., plant. The company is trying to settle those charges with the labor board. If the settlement agreement is accepted by the labor board, Quebecor World will be required to post a notice to employees stating that the company will not violate the law by engaging in illegal surveillance of employees, will not interfere with workers' right to form a union, and will not prohibit distribution of union literature.
The NLRB also recently announced it had found merit in two charges filed by workers in its Fernley, Nev., facility. These charges stem from the company's alleged attempt to stifle the workers' right to engage in union activity through threats and suppression of union literature.
"Unfortunately, Quebecor World continues to violate the law," stated Alan Tate, GCIU Director of Contracts and Research. "This company profits from the hard work of these loyal employees and yet management persists in disrespecting them and violating their rights. Quebecor World's misconduct is egregious and it must stop immediately."
During a previous organizing campaign in Dickson, Tenn., the National Labor Relations Board found that the company unlawfully fired a worker who openly supported forming a union. The labor board forced the company to reinstate that worker with back pay, and the workers eventually organized with the GCIU.
Quebecor World workers throughout the United States are trying to form a union with the GCIU as part of the Justice@Quebecor campaign. The campaign continues to win growing support from elected officials such as Sen. John Kerry, religious leaders, community leaders, and many of Quebecor's customers.
The Justice@Quebecor campaign, launched in December 2003, is an unprecedented effort by Quebecor workers and their unions throughout the world to win basic human rights on the job at Quebecor World's facilities. Workers in the United States want a fair, democratic process to form a union-free from management's harassment and intimidation.
WhatTheyThink is the global printing industry's leading independent media organization with both print and digital offerings, including WhatTheyThink.com, PrintingNews.com and WhatTheyThink magazine versioned with a Printing News and Wide-Format & Signage edition. Our mission is to provide cogent news and analysis about trends, technologies, operations, and events in all the markets that comprise today’s printing and sign industries including commercial, in-plant, mailing, finishing, sign, display, textile, industrial, finishing, labels, packaging, marketing technology, software and workflow.