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Queens Chronicle

Labor board says Trade Fair acted wrongly

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Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 12:52 pm, Wed Jul 3, 2013.

Since March, Trade Fair meat market employees have briefly struck, been locked out and had their jobs diminished after they say their boss berated them during union contract negotiations.

After reviewing all of the evidence submitted by UFCW Local 342, the National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint against the super market.

The report states that Trade Fair improperly surveyed union activity, interrogated and improperly suspended employees in conjunction with union activities, and threatened termination and punishment for distributing union material or participating with the organization.

The document also lists assault, harassment and illegal lockouts.

“The most important part of this process is that, as part of the complaint, the NLRB will be asking an administrative law judge to order Trade Fair to make the employees whole,” union spokeswoman Kate Meckler said.

That can include retroactive pay for lost wages during the months-long lockout. The management will also be asked to remedy unfair labor practices, Meckler said.

Two weeks after the lockout owner Farid Jaber hired back some workers; however, managers were reduced to butchers and all protesting workers were moved to other locations.

During the lockout Council members Julissa Ferreras (D-Corona), Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) and Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), along with Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan), rallied with employees.

As part of the legal process, Trade Fair management must respond to the complaint in writing by the first week of July.

If it choses not to settle the case amicably with the union, there will be a hearing in front of an ALJ sometime in late August.

In addition to all the charges that have been addressed in the NLRB’s complaint, UFCW Local 342 still has more charges pending against Trade Fair, and is continuing to await the results.

Trade Fair filed with NLRB alleging that the union unlawfully struck.

— Josey Bartlett

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