The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a request by Daycon Products Co., a Maryland-based janitorial supply company, to overturn rulings by the National Labor Relations Board and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in favor of Teamster members who were blocked from returning to work.
In April 2010, 45 members of Local 639 who work at Daycon commenced an unfair labor practice strike against the company for prematurely declaring an impasse during negotiations. After only about 10 negotiating sessions with Local 639, Daycon declared that it had reached an impasse and unilaterally implemented its last bargaining proposal. In July 2010, the workers offered to return to work unconditionally, but Daycon refused to reinstate them. After a trial in November 2010, an administrative law judge issued a ruling in favor of Local 639.
But Daycon appealed to the NLRB.
The NLRB in September 2011 found that Daycon had illegally declared an impasse in negotiations with Local 639 and unlawfully failed to reinstate workers when they offered to return to work unconditionally.
The board ordered Daycon to reinstate all of the strikers back to their positions and awarded them back pay and all lost benefits. Several strikers were recalled sporadically over the next few years, but the remaining strikers were not recalled to work until the end of 2012.
Daycon then appealed to the federal appeals court, which issued a decision in November 2012 affirming the NLRB’s ruling.
Daycon sought the Supreme Court review in 2013 in an attempt to overturn the NLRB’s ruling on a procedural issue that it never raised throughout the case.
While Daycon continued to challenge the favorable rulings, the NLRB and Local 639 moved forward with efforts to recover back pay owed to the workers. On June 16, NLRB Administrative Law Judge Eric Fine awarded more than $1.1 million in back pay plus interest to the Teamsters at Daycon.
“Even this Supreme Court, which is not friendly to us at all, could see through Daycon’s weak arguments,” said Tommy Ratliff, President of Local 639. “We also appreciate the back pay decision but we won’t be happy until our members receive the money they are owed. We don’t understand why Daycon doesn’t sit down in good faith and work out a contract with us and pay the members what they are owed.”
“These rulings represent one more setback for Daycon and one more step in the right direction for our members,” said Doug Webber, a Local 639 business agent who has pursued the case. “It is time the public understood what kind of employer Daycon really is. They pretend they are a good corporate citizen, but continue to deny the employees what they are entitled to under the law.”