Teamsters Local 89 Wins 10j Injunctive Relief at Smyrna Ready Mix Winchester
Posted On: Feb 03, 2021
In late 2019 workers at a Smyrna Ready Mix (SRM) plant in Winchester approached Local 89 organizers about forming a union. Shortly thereafter the initial contact was fired, then the plant manager was fired for refusing to interrogate the workers about who supported a union. In early 2020 the entire plant was shut down by a Company arrogant enough to believe the law didn’t apply to them.
Following this stunning, and highly illegal action, Teamsters Local 89 filed labor charges against SRM in an effort to protect the workers. None of these ready-mix drivers had even signed a union card yet, they never made it that far in their attempt to organize before the Company intentionally shut the plant down to stop it from unionizing. But Local 89 still filed charges and fought, because when a worker contacts us about wanting to join the Teamsters, we will do everything in our power to protect that worker, no matter what it takes. It is the right thing to do, and it is one of the guiding principles at the heart of Teamsters Local 89.
When the regional National Labor Relations Board conducted their investigation, they unearthed mountains of evidence that proved SRM had shut down this very profitable plant specifically in an attempt to prevent unionization from spreading in their company. Ultimately, the NLRB ruled in favor of the workers and ordered SRM to restore their jobs and provide them backpay. Unfortunately, as is often the case, SRM immediately appealed to the NLRB main office in Washington D.C. and the case has languished there ever since.
Teamsters Local 89, however, was not done with the fight. An appeal for injunctive relief, spearheaded by labor attorney David Suetholz, was immediately filed in federal court and the battle began anew. We are now beyond happy to report that as of late last week a federal judge ruled in favor of Local 89, and granted 10j injunctive relief requiring SRM to immediately re-open the Winchester plant, offer all terminated employees their jobs back, and provide them with at least 40-hours of work per week.
The injunctive relief did not require SRM to immediately disperse backpay, but that and the permanent re-opening of the plant will be decided by the D.C. NLRB in the future when they rule on SRM’s appeal. Local 89 is confident that SRM’s appeal will be denied, and the Winchester ready-mix drivers will receive their backpay.
Everyone at Teamsters Local 89 is excited for these workers to have the opportunity to return to their jobs and are pleased that both the NLRB and the Courts ruled in favor of workers’ rights in this very important case.
This should serve as a lesson to workers and employers alike. Workers – when you contact Teamsters Local 89 about organizing, we will use all our resources to fight to protect you from then on. And employers - when you learn your workers are attempting to organize, do the right thing, save yourselves a lot of trouble, and just let them do it.