Tag: 2021苏州夜生活

Ithaca Coffee Company workers ramp up unionization campaign with NLRB charge

first_img Ottoson also said the business’s scheduling practices make it difficult for her to supplement her ICC income. “I have been struggling with a changing schedule on a weekly basis making me unable to get a second job to make ends meet. Having a union contract will make me feel more secure in my job, in my financial life, and more able to offer a good experience to our customers since I won’t be stressing about my bills or job security,” she said.Crowley rejected the idea that unionization would lead to higher wages. “Who doesn’t want to be paid more? But unionizing, especially at a small company, doesn’t guarantee them anything,” she said.ICC has two retail locations, in the Triphammer Marketplace in Lansing and the Gateway Commons in Downtown Ithaca, as well as a coffee roasting and bake shop facility on Hancock Street in Ithaca. Crowley also owns Triphammer Wine and Spirits. She said employees at the small businesses have a direct line to management and can work with management to address issues.“I am certainly free to express my opinion, which is that I don’t think a union is necessary in a small business like ours where they can speak to management directly,” she said.She added that the Gateway Commons location has been adversely impacted by construction at City Centre and the Hilton Canopy hotel, and said her efforts have been focused on keeping the business afloat. “We’re just trying to keep our heads above water down there,” she said, characterizing the dispute as a distraction. “We’d like to get back to serving the customer and doing business.”Related: Employees reach settlement in case against Finger Lakes School of MassageBrenden Lukosavich, another ICC organizing committee member, said there is broad support among employees to form a union and negotiate a contract. In a statement, he alleged management has blocked union support by threatening workers. “Our management knows that a majority of workers would support joining a union if we weren’t being threatened over doing so. The management threatened us, and now we have to ask the federal government to hold them accountable. However, even more important is how ICC’s customers and this community will hold them accountable.”Crowley said Ottoson and Lukosavich’s statements are “100 percent false.”“We have never threatened to close our store. We have never threatened anybody’s job,” Crowley said. “I’m concerned about false narratives hurting my business.”ICC organizers have gotten support from the Tompkins County Workers’ Center and Workers United, a labor organization active throughout central and upstate New York. Ava Mailloux, a leader of the Gimme! Coffee baristas bargaining unit within Workers United Local 2833, said the Gimme! Barista’s Union stands in solidarity with ICC workers.“In this time of wage stagnation and increasing economic polarization, the fight against inequality must begin in our own communities. Everyone deserves a living wage, protection under just cause, and freedom from fear of retaliation and threats. When we unionize and stand in solidarity with each other, we raise the standard of living for workers throughout the county. Happy, healthy workers make for a stronger community. I hope these local business owners find their way past bullying and intimidation to addressing the root causes of dissatisfaction among their employees and making meaningful changes,” Mailloux said in a statement.The NLRB’s regional director will investigate whether allegations of unfair labor practices have merit. If the office finds grounds to move forward with formal action, the regional director will issue a complaint against ICC and the company will have an opportunity to submit a response. Workers can continue to push for unionization in the meantime, in keeping with NLRA protections.Featured image: ICC workers announced a unionization effort on social media April 19. (Provided photo) Devon Magliozzi Tagged: ithaca coffee company, National Labor Relations Board, tompkins county workers center, unionization, Workers United Your Economy & Development news is made possible with support from: center_img ITHACA, N.Y. – A group of workers at Ithaca Coffee Company announced Friday that they have submitted an unfair labor practices charge to the National Labor Relations Board, alleging management has interfered with their right to form a union.Workers notified ICC owner Julie Crowley of their intent to form a union in mid-April and publicly announced a unionization campaign on social media on April 19. A press release circulated by organizing committee members and the Tompkins County Workers’ Center on Friday alleges that after workers announced the campaign, “ICC’s management immediately resorted to threatening workers with retaliation, including the threat to close store locations if employees voted to join a union. Pervasive intimidation discouraging employees from discussing terms and conditions of employment with pro-union workers has created an atmosphere of chilling fear in the workplace.”Section 7 of the the National Labor Relations Act protects workers’ rights to organize, join or form labor organization, bargain collectively and engage in concerted activities for mutual aid or protection. According to the NLRB, it is an unfair labor practice “to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7 (of the Act),” including by threatening employees with adverse consequences for unionizing, promising benefits to employees who reject a union, coercively questioning employees about their involvement, or “convey(ing) the message that selecting a union would be futile.”Crowley said in an interview with the Ithaca Voice on Friday that she does not know what the basis is for the charge of unfair labor practices. “I’m not aware of any issues, I’m not aware of any rights that we’ve violated. We like our employees to speak up for themselves. As far as I know we’ve addressed issues with anyone individually who’ve brought them forward,” she said, adding, “I know what their rights are, I know what my rights are. I have every right to state my opinion, they have every right to organize.”The workers’ unionization campaign is centered on a few key demands. Organizers are seeking a contract with a “just cause” clause preventing arbitrary termination, as well as a schedule for wage increases. Organizers are also pushing to have a voice in company decisions via a bargaining unit.New York is an “at-will” employment state, according to the Department of Labor, which means, “Without a contract restricting termination, generally an employer has the right to discharge an employee at any time for any, or no, reason, providing it is not an act of illegal retaliation or discrimination.” ICC’s counterparts at Gimme! Coffee were able to secure a contract with a “just cause” clause following their successful unionization campaign in 2018.Related: Gimme! Coffee baristas ratify first union contractAccording to Friday’s press release, ICC workers start at minimum wage “with not much room for raises or growth within the company, leading to a high turnover rate.” Minimum wage in New York State is currently $11.10/hour.Ana Ottoson, a member of the ICC organizing committee, said in a statement, “I have been struggling since I was hired with paying all my bills, due to the ridiculously low wages; having had a union contract would’ve helped to ensure regular raises and incentivize the entire staff to stay longer.” Devon Magliozzi is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at [email protected] or 607-391-0328. More by Devon Magliozzi last_img read more

Get redundancy right

first_imgAccording to a recent survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development and KPMG, employers who were holding off making redundancies have reconsidered their position as a result of deteriorating economic conditions.Twenty-six per cent of responding employers reported having contingency plans to make new or further redundancies in the next 12 months, in addition to those already planned. The survey also reported that every employee made redundant costs the employer on average £10,000.Redundancy law has moved on since the last downturn affected the baking industry and you will expose your business to expensive claims of unfair dismissal and discrimination if you do not follow current law and practice. The compulsory dispute resolution regulations generally apply to all dismissals, including redundancies, except where the rules on collective redundancies apply. If you do not follow the minimum three-step dismissal procedure, the redundancy will be automatically unfair, where an employee has requisite service, and compensation can be increased by up to 50%.In brief the compulsory dismissal procedure requires:Step 1: The employer to write to the employee stating the grounds for their proposed redundancy and inviting them to attend a meeting to discuss the situation before a final decision is taken.Step 2: Meeting. Step 3: Appeal.Whenever a redundancy is proposed, meaningful consultation must take place, and should be capable of being shown to have taken place, in order to avoid a negative outcome at an Employment Tribunal. Two or more meetings will normally be required to allow for meaningful consultation. The meetings should also be used to explore the possibility of alternative employment, which is another crucial element required to achieve a fair redundancy.Employees have the right to make a reasonable request to be accompanied by another employee or a trade union official of their choice at the meetings. Companions do not have the right to answer questions put to the employee, but can otherwise take an active role during a meeting. Compensation can be awarded where the right is infringed.In addition to complying with the compulsory dispute procedures, an employer must be able to show that it acted reasonably in all the circumstances (including its size and administrative resources). Fair and objective criteria and a consistent approach are key. A paper trail showing what an employer did is usually crucial to defending a claim.Where an employee is selected as being potentially redundant, subject to consultation and after the employer has applied its objective criterion to the pool of staff that were at risk, difficult questions often arise about how much information should be disclosed to the employee to explain their selection. Based on recent case decisions my advice in such situations is:l Enclose details of the individual’s own scores (based on criteria such as skills, flexibility and length of service) with the Step 1 letterl Enclose a schedule of the other pool employees’ total scores, but on an anonymised basis with the Step 1 letter.This is slightly more cautious than the cases suggest, but should provide you with substantial protection and has the benefit of allowing for any scoring mistakes to be picked up during the consultation stage rather than at the Employment Tribunals.The legal landscape looks set to change on 6 April, 2009. The compulsory dispute resolution regulations will probably be abolished and replaced by a new Acas Code of Practice, the draft form of which applies to disciplinary and grievance procedures only. Redundancy and fixed-term contracts will be beyond its scope. The extent to which Employment Tribunals apply the principles in the current procedures to redundancies from 6 April, 2009, remains to be seen.? Ray Silverstein is a partner at legal firm Browne Jacobsonlast_img read more