At the request of the National Labor Relations Board, a federal judge has ordered the Jung Sun Laundry Group Corp. to reinstate about one hundred employees who were fired and replaced after they staged a brief strike to protest the laundry’s delinquent payments into their health fund, which resulted in the cancellation of their health care insurance.
The laundry, which is in Long Island City and services New York area hotels, has operated under union contract for the past 20 years. Its most recent contract with the Laundry, Dry Cleaning, and Allied Workers Joint Board expired in late November 2009.
On the following workday, the morning shift of employees staged a four-hour strike to protest the health insurance cancellation, refusing to return after their morning break and instead marching and chanting in front of the facility. When the striking employees attempted to return to their jobs at noon, they were not allowed into the facility. When the afternoon shift began at 4 pm, arriving employees were also told they were not allowed to return to work.
The union filed unfair labor practice charges alleging the employer had violated federal law by firing the striking workers. Following an investigation that found merit to the charges, NLRB Regional Director Alvin Blyer in Brooklyn issued a complaint against Jung Sun, which led to a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge in mid-summer. During the hearing, the Regional Director also filed a petition in federal district court seeking a temporary injunction to restore the status quo while the NLRB administrative proceedings continued.
The injunction ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Carol B. Amon on Nov. 15 was a result of that filing. The employer was ordered to offer full reinstatement to all fired employees, restore the earlier conditions of employment including health insurance coverage, and post copies of the order in English, Spanish, Creole, Mandarin and News Release National Labor Relations Board Office of the General Counsel Bengali. In her decision, Judge Amon wrote that “temporary relief is just and proper to restore the status quo, prevent irreparable harm, and further the ends of the National Labor Relations Act.”
The National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency vested with the authority to safeguard employees’ rights to organize and to determine whether to have a union as their collective bargaining representative, and to prevent and remedy unfair labor practices committed by private sector employers and unions.
PRESS RELEASE via NLRB.gov