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Byline: MICHAEL MCNAMARA
NEW YORK -- The National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday issued a complaint against 10 New Jersey textile dyers and finishers represented by CP Associates, citing more than 125 instances of alleged violations of employees' rights under the National Labor Relations Act.
According to the NLRB complaint -- based on a nine-month investigation -- the most significant violation occurred Jan. 11, 1994, when the 10 companies refused to allow members of the Amalgamated Clothing & Textile Workers Union to return to their jobs after an 11-week strike.
On top of that, the union is requesting that the NLRB seek an injunction by a federal judge to force the 10 firms to put employees back to work while the NLRB procedures continue. According to an NLRB spokesman, section 10 of the National Labor Relations Act "provides for an immediate court action when labor law violations may cause permanent damage."
An NLRB hearing date has yet to be set but is expected before the yearend, the spokesman said.
Last Dec. 15, the union voted to accept a contract proposal by State Labor Commissioner Raymond Bramucci, ending the strike. Ten plants, represented by Silk and Rayon Association, accepted Bramucci's pact and put 800 employees back to work. Ten CP Associates companies, however, refused to accept the pact on the grounds that it was conceived without CP's input. On Jan. 11, the union made an unconditional offer to return to work that was rejected by CP Associates, "at which point the meter started ticking," said John Hudson, ACTWU vice president.
As of Wednesday, about 350 CP plant employees are still out of work, said Hudson, who noted that 450 have either been called back or have crossed the picket line. The NLRB is seeking reinstatement with full back pay from Jan. 11 for the out-of-work union members.
The 10 firms named in the complaint are Champion Dyeing & Finishing, Continental Dyeing & Finishing, Coral Dyeing & Finishing, Manner Textile, Moire Corp., Perennial Print, Renco Dyeing & Finishing, Signature Cloth, Sunbrite Dye, and Trio Dyeing and Finishing. All are in northern New Jersey.
Mark Klueger and Bruce McMoran, both counsels for CP Associates, could not be reached for comment Wednesday regarding the complaint.
McMoran, however, in a recent interview on the topic of the dispute, said, "We have played fair all along. We were never consulted during the crafting of Bramucci's proposal, and the union is trying everything to disrupt the discussions.