December 28, 2012: Administrative Law Judge Bruce Rosenstein has ruled that Ford contractor Voith Services conspired with the United Auto Workers (UAW) to deprive over 100 Louisville Teamsters of their jobs and their union contract. The decision orders Voith to put 85 of the Teamsters to work, pay them nearly a year's back-pay, reinstate the superior terms of the Teamster contract, and void the bogus deal the company signed with the UAW.
The December 21 ruling
is a decisive win for the Teamsters, and wonderful Christmas present to the affected brothers and sisters. The 40-page decision details how Voith, with Ford Motor pulling the strings, underbid Jack Cooper at Ford's Louisville Assembly Plant for some 166 jobs moving and baying new cars, using a pre-arranged substandard contract with the UAW.
The case was heard in a 13-day trial in August, September and October, 2012.
The yard work at the plant had been under the Teamster contract since1952, until early 2012 when the dirty deal was put in place. Teamsters who made $20 per hour, with a union pension, were replaced by UAW members making $11-14 per hour.
TDU reported on this struggle for jobs by Teamster Local 89 last August. That report is available here
The judge's decision orders that:
- 85 named Teamsters must be put to work. Other Teamsters must be given a chance to apply for jobs.
- Back pay must be awarded, on the basis of the Teamster contract.
- The pre-existing Teamster contract must be reinstated in full, until a new contract is negotiated with Local 89.
- The UAW contract is voided, because it was the product of illegal discrimination against Teamster workers and collusion between the corporation and the UAW.
- The decision's orders must be posted on bulletin boards, on the web, and read aloud at meetings of all workers.
Local 89 and Teamster members received no support from the International Union in this struggle.
In fact, this decision, winning Teamster jobs and millions of dollars in back pay, is not even mentioned on the IBT website! Normally a win of this magnitude would be top news there, with Hoffa boasting in a press release.
Car haulers count for nothing to Hoffa. He regards them as too much trouble. And Local 89 president Fred Zuckerman ran with Fred Gegare, not Hoffa, in the 2011 IBT election.
In addition, Hoffa's car haul director, Roy Gross of Local 299, has stood by while Voith took Teamster jobs at the Ford plant in Wayne, Michigan. It appears that Local 89 has won what Hoffa and Gross gave away.
Delays and Appeals?
Typically decisions such as this are subject to lengthy appeals, first to the full National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and later to the federal court of appeals. But the case is so egregious that the NLRB’s General Counsel has asked for an injunction in federal court to enforce the order.
Hopefully justice will not be delayed much longer.