VOL. 114 | NO. 47 | Thursday, March 9, 2000
The National Labor Relations Board has entered into a compliance agreement with the United Auto Workers Union and Pace Industries, d/b/a Precision Industries
NLRB enters in agreement
with auto workers union, Pace
The National Labor Relations Board has entered into a compliance agreement with the United Auto Workers Union and Pace Industries, d/b/a Precision Industries.
As part of the agreement, Pace will pay up to $12 million to individuals denied employment in October 1988, as well as to employees and former employees who were paid lower wage rates and did not receive certain fringe benefits.
The agreement is the culmination of 11 years of litigation against Pace, involving its Malvern plant in south Arkansas. The case against Pace started in October 1988, following Paces refusal to hire about 62 former employees of Universal Die Casting to avoid bargaining with their union, the UAW. The UAW filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRBs Memphis office. Finding merit to the charge after an investigation, the NLRBs regional director issued a complaint against Pace.
Following a 13-week trial that concluded in November 1991, NLRB administrative law judge Thomas R. Wilks issued a decision on May 4, 1993, upholding the complaint. The judge found that Pace violated Section 8(a)(3) and (5) of the National Labor Relations Act by unlawfully refusing to hire former employees of UDC, refusing to recognize and bargain with the UAW and unilaterally changing wages and benefits for Pace employees.
The NLRB affirmed the judges decision on Jan. 3, 1996. The boards decision was enforced July 1, 1997 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. After the court denied motions for rehearing, the Supreme Court denied Paces petition for writ of certiorari on March 23, 1998.
In late 1997, Pace began to comply with the NLRB order by recognizing the UAW, bargaining with the union and offering reinstatement to the people the company allegedly discriminated against.
However, after the NLRB and Pace were unable to agree on the amount of back pay due, the NLRB issued a compliance specification in October 1998. The NLRB regional office sought back pay for the discriminatees and employees using the Bureau of Labor Statistics as a basis for wage increases over the back pay period.
Litigation began again in March 1999, and during a summer adjournment, the NLRB and Pace negotiated an agreement to make back pay restitution to some of the employees who were refused employment. The two parties eventually reached a full agreement regarding all back pay due, and signed a compliance agreement, which was approved Dec. 28, by administrative law judge George Carson, who presided over the trial.
In February, the parties reached a collective bargaining agreement.
As part of the settlement, Pace will pay $6.5 million in back pay for lost wages, including projected wage increases and benefits to the 62 individuals refused employment in 1988; $3.7 million to employees and former employees of Pace covering the difference between wages and benefits paid and the amount that should have been paid; and up to an additional $2 million to restore the terms of the Universal Die Casting pension plan.
Trial attorneys in the matter included Bruce E. Buchanan, lead prosecutor for the entire 11 years of litigation, and John Goree. Also involved in compliance proceedings were William Yarbrough, NLRB compliance officer, and NLRB regional director Gerard P. Fleischut, who is now retired.