Daily Labor Report® is the objective resource the nation’s foremost labor and employment professionals read and rely on, providing reliable, analytical coverage of top labor and employment...
By Michael Rose
Sept. 29 — The union representing workers on strike at Just Born Inc., maker of Peeps marshmallow candy, plans to file an age discrimination charge with the EEOC, a union official told Bloomberg BNA Sept. 29.
The strike began Sept. 7 at the company’s plant in Bethlehem, Pa., where about 400 workers are represented by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers union.
Just Born sued the union Sept. 26, alleging that it called a strike before its collective bargaining agreement had expired.
Ron Baker, BCTGM strategic campaign coordinator, said some 85 percent of workers at the plant are over age 40 and that the age discrimination charge relates to a company pension proposal he said was “designed to make people decide whether to work into the future or force them into retirement.”
The parties met at the negotiating table Sept. 28, Baker said, but he said he couldn’t share details of what was discussed. Hank McKay, president of the BCTGM local that represents the Just Born workers, didn’t respond to a request for comment Sept. 29.
When the strike began, McKay told Bloomberg BNA that the company’s contract proposal would have eliminated workers’ pension plan and provided “substandard” wage increases.
Just Born’s lawsuit against the union, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleges that the union violated the Labor-Management Relations Act by calling a strike in the midst of ongoing negotiations.
At the end of August, the complaint alleged, the company and the union agreed to extend contract negotiations through Sept. 18, and a company official e-mailed the union to confirm a verbal agreement to the extension.
But Baker, of the BCTGM, called the lawsuit “frivolous and meritless.”
“They produced an e-mail confirming there was an extension, but it was an e-mail from them to us,” Baker said. “We never even signed an extension.”
The union also has filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board related to the strike, Baker said.
A spokesman for Just Born didn’t provide a comment on the strike or the negotiations Sept. 29.
In a statement released when the strike began, a company official said the parties disagreement stemmed from the company’s proposal to move newly hired workers to a 401(k) plan rather than have them participate in a multiemployer pension plan, which he called “unsustainable.”
In addition to marshmallow Peeps, Just Born also makes Mike and Ike, Hot Tamales and Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews. The company is privately held.
To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Rose in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan J. McGolrick at firstname.lastname@example.org
Text of the company’s lawsuit against the union is at http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/JUST_BORN_INC_v_LOCAL_UNION_NO_6_BAKERY_CONFECTIONARY_TOBACCO_WOR.
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)