Daycon ordered to reinstate workers
Judge rules against Upper Marlboro firm in strike case
A National Labor Relations Board administrative judge has ruled in favor of union workers who went on strike against an Upper Marlboro cleaning company last year.
Judge Joel P. Biblowitz issued his decision Tuesday, finding that Daycon Products violated federal labor laws by breaking off negotiations with the union and later refusing to reinstate the strikers when the union, via Teamsters 639 in Washington, D.C., unconditionally offered to return to work in July, according to board information. Biblowitz also ruled that the company illegally subcontracted out work without negotiating with the union.
Biblowitz ordered Daycon to reinstate the employees within 14 days and provide back pay from July 6 to the date of reinstatement, plus interest. He also ordered Daycon to resume bargaining with the union and rescind any unilateral charges.
The board also is awaiting a decision on its petition against Daycon for injunctive relief, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt last month, spokeswoman Nancy Cleeland wrote in an e-mail to The Gazette on Thursday.
"We definitely feel like we've been vindicated," said Doug Webber, Local 639's business agent. "The wheels of justice move a little slow sometimes, but they do move."
Workers started their strike against Daycon on April 26, after contract negotiations collapsed. The union protested the company's uneven pay scale, which results in newer workers being unable to catch up to pay rates of senior employees. Fifty-five union workers were part of the original strike, although some have since crossed the picket line.
Although Daycon can appeal the judge's decision, Webber said the union hopes Daycon will "do the right thing."
Daycon representatives declined comment.
Privately held Daycon generates $50 million in annual revenues. The company provides cleaning equipment and supplies, services and vendor-managed inventory.