5/29/08

UNITE-HERE authorizes strike v. Aramark

Local police back union over company

Workers at the Aramark Laundry in Madison (WI) have voted unanimously to authorize a strike against the company over what the union contends are unfair labor practices. The dispute between the company and its workers has heated up in recent weeks as the company called police to have union representatives tossed from the company, which police declined to do.

The strike vote authorizes the Unite Here Local 229 to call a strike over unfair labor practices.

The union alleges the company denied the union's health and safety expert access to gather information relevant to potential grievances, and says the company has made unilateral modifications to the existing bargaining agreement to keep union representatives out of the building.

The union also contends Aramark has "threatened and attempted to intimidate employees based on their union and concerted activities."

Rosie Reml, Local 229 president and a shop steward, said management left a meeting with the union bargaining committee Wednesday and held what she called a "captive audience meeting at the plant."

"Hours after the captive audience meeting, Aramark workers walked next door to the Teamsters Union Hall where we voted unanimously to give the Unite Here Local 229 bargaining committee the authority to call a strike over unfair labor practices," she said.

Aramark officials could not be reached for comment on the unions vote or its allegations.

(madison.com)

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