Steelworkers Charge Kaiser Aluminum With Violations of Federal Labor Law
OAKLAND, CA, October 14 - The United Steelworkers of America today filed
unfair labor practices charges against Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corp.
the company's unlawful activities during negotiations for a new master
agreement at five of Kaiser's plants in the United States.
The charges, filed this morning at the National Labor Relations Board
here, allege that Kaiser "has discriminated in regard to terms and
conditions of employment to discourage membership in a labor
has refused to bargain collectively in good faith with the
its employees (including but not limited to refusing to provide
information relevant and necessary to collective bargaining
and has otherwise interfered with, restrained, and/or coerced employees
the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7 of the National Labor
"From day one of these negotiations, Kaiser refused to recognize that
stable, long-term, family-supporting jobs are vital to our members, our
families and our communities," said David Foster, Director of USWA
11 and chairman of the USWA Kaiser Aluminum bargaining team. "Instead,
they committed a series of unfair labor practices-violations of federal
made bargaining and reaching an agreement impossible."
On September 30, more than 3,000 USWA members at five Kaiser plants went
strike several hours after their contract expired to protest the
unfair labor practices. Steelworkers members at Kaiser are bargaining
improved job security provisions, "successorship" protection that would
protect their jobs and labor standards in the event of a plant sale or
relocation, and restoration of wage, benefit and pension levels to the
industry standard set in the union's contracts with Alcoa and Reynolds.
"Our members sacrificed for 15 years to restore Kaiser's profitability
leveraged buyouts and other corporate misadventures saddled the company
a billion dollars of debt," Foster said. "In the wake of a 'best ever'
performance that earned Kaiser over $168 million last year, it's not
unreasonable to ask the company to honor its word and restore the cuts
membership accepted to put the company back on its feet."
The company's latest contract offer would eliminate at least 400 jobs,
the company the right to contract out hundreds of other jobs, and
the slow decline of USWA members' living standards with an economic
below the projected rate of inflation.
This is the second set of charges filed in recent weeks against Kaiser
the NLRB region which contains the company's headquarters city. In early
September, the union challenged the legality of Kaiser's unilateral
withdrawal of recognition and refusal to bargain with a unit comprised
the company's guards. On all charges, the NLRB regional office is
to conduct an investigation prior to making a decision on whether to
complaint against the company.
The strike affects workers at two Kaiser plants in Spokane, Washington,
well as plants in Newark, Ohio, Gramercy, Louisiana, and Tacoma,
The 750,000-member USWA also has separate agreements covering workers at
Kaiser plants in Richmond, Virginia, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and London,
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