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NexPress Ruled Not a Lithographic Process for Collective Bargaining Purposes

Press release from the issuing company

August 19, 2003 -- In a decision recently issued by the Milwaukee Regional office of the National Labor Relations Board, the NLRB determined that a NexPress added to Delzer Lithograph Company’s Fulfillment Department operations is not to be included in the traditional lithograph production unit of press operators and electronic prepress technicians at the same location.  After the installation of the NexPress, the Union filed a unit clarification petition requesting that the contract’s jurisdictional clause be amended to include the operation of the NexPress.  The existing jurisdictional clause included “the following lithographic production work ... all work processes and operations directly related to lithography or offset (including wet or dry) . . . including any technological or other change, or evolution from any work, process, operation, now or hereinafter utilized in the methods described above.”  Adopting the argument presented by the Company, the NLRB ruled that due to the technology involved with the NexPress, it was not lithography and, therefore, under the circumstances presented, should not be included in the traditional lithographic craft unit. The impact on this decision may be profound on the industry for both union and nonunion printers, particularly if the industry continues to advance towards digital press technology.  Printing unions can be expected at the bargaining table to propose broader jurisdictional language.  The GCIU could appeal the decision to the full NLRB board in Washington, D.C. If this becomes an issue for you during future negotiations, please contact Jim Kyger at PIA National.  Jonathan Swain from Lindner & Marsack, S.C. represented Delzer Lithographic Company.