On April 22, 2021, a neutral arbitrator ordered Macy's to stop using its "Scan and Pay" mobile app in store departments where unionized workers earn commissions for their sales. The case was brought by UFCW, Local 1445 on behalf of represented employees in Boston, Braintree, Natick, Peabody, and Saugus, Mass. and in Warwick, Rhode Island. Pyle Rome attorney Alex Robertson represented the Union in the case.
When parties put new language in a collective bargaining agreement, what they say (or don't say) to each other during bargaining can be the decisive factor in interpreting the contract. Relying on that interpretive principle, the IBEW System Council T-9 and Pyle Rome partner Al Gordon O'Connell convinced a neutral arbitrator to order Consolidated Communications, Inc. (CCI) to reinstate the previously existing rule that all work on Sunday is counted as overtime.
"Final and binding arbitration" is a fundamental and uniform component of collective bargaining agreements.It That guarantees that disputes can be resolved relatively quickly and without tying up the parties in multiple appeals. Yet employers, with alarming frequency, defy these written promises by arguing that arbitrators lack authority to resolve disputes about terms of the collective bargaining agreement. A neutral arbitrator soundly rejected the Town of Watertown's claim that the Union cannot enforce the CBA's "just cause" protections for firefighters.
On March 8, 2021, an arbitrator ordered the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to vacate a promotion and conduct a new review of the applicants because the Department failed to consider the applicants' work history and seniority as required by the collective bargaining agreement. The case was brought by United Steelworkers, Local 5696, and Pyle Rome partner Al Gordon O'Connell represented the Union at arbitration.
On March 8, 2021, the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board (CERB) ruled in favor of SEIU, Local 509 (Local 509), finding that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Commonwealth) violated the law when it failed to give Local 509 notice and an opportunity to bargain before MassHealth managers began secretly listening in on phone calls between MassHealth employees and members of the public. The CERB ordered that MassHealth stop listening in on calls until it engages in good faith bargaining with Local 509.
On February 16, 2021, UFCW, Local 1445 won an arbitration victory on behalf of the employees of Dianne's Fine Desserts in which an arbitrator ordered the Company to retroactively reinstate the employer match to employees' 401(k) contributions, which the Company had unilaterally suspended. Pyle Rome partner Al Gordon O'Connell represented the Union in the case.
On February 3, 2021, an arbitrator issued a ruling in favor of SENA, Local 9158 reducing a three-day suspension to a written warning for a long-tenured City of Boston employee whose only issue was his failure to notify his boss about some vandalism to a coworker's car. Pyle Rome attorney Alex Robertson represented the Union in the successful arbitration.
After a pitched battle against cannabis producer New England Treatment Access (NETA), UFCW Local 1445 has achieved and defended its certification as the representative of all agricultural employees at NETA's Franklin, Mass., cultivation facility. Attorneys Al Gordon O'Connell and Alex Robertson represented the Union in its unbroken string of victories to certify the Union as the representative of these workers.
Many collective bargaining agreements provide benefits for holidays, such as paid leave, a stipend in lieu of paid leave, and/or special overtime pay. Some contracts cover some or all established holidays, and others add special holidays, whether "floating holidays," anniversary holiday, and others.
On January 13, 2021, Pyle Rome partner Al Gordon O'Connell scored an arbitration victory on behalf of UFCW, Local 1445 regarding a warehouse worker fired without the Company having given him a chance to address the charges against him. The case reaffirms the right of unionized employees to due process in disciplinary matters.