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NLRB issues second complaint and seeks $2.6 million plus interest from Florida performing arts center after it failed to comply with Board order

The National Labor Relations Board has issued a second complaint against the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach alleging violations of federal labor law in a dispute that dates back more than a decade.

NLRB attorneys also on Monday issued a Compliance Specification that calculates the Center owes about $2.6 million in back pay and benefit contributions, plus interest that continues to accrue, to several hundred members of the stagehands’ union who were unlawfully denied employment.

The Board ruled in September 2007 that the theatrical venue violated federal labor law by failing to bargain to impasse with its union, IATSE, by unilaterally changing wages and conditions of employment, and by refusing to use the union’s hiring hall in more than 700 productions staged since charges were filed in 2001. The Board’s order was enforced by the DC Circuit Court in 2008.

The Compliance Specification (in case 06-CA-036484) calculates the amount that carpenters, electricians, and other skilled laborers would have earned had the Center used the hiring hall, as required by a collective bargaining agreement between the employer and union.

The agreement had expired and the parties were bargaining for a renewal when the Center declared negotiations had reached impasse, fired six union employees and declared it would hire a set of non-union core employees to perform work previously performed by union members.

In its 2007 decision, the Board ordered the Center to offer reinstatement to the fired workers and return to bargaining for a new contract. Negotiations did resume, but the Center again declared impasse in the fall of 2010 and later imposed essentially the same conditions as it had previously.

The complaint issued this week by the NLRB Regional Office in Tampa (case 12-CA-027075) alleges that the Center unlawfully declared impasse even though it had not bargained in good faith to impasse. The complaint also alleges that the Center unlawfully fired three employees and unlawfully insisted on employing a core crew rather than filling stagehand jobs through the hiring hall.

A hearing on the complaint and the compliance specification is scheduled to be held before an NLRB administrative law judge on October 29, 2012, in West Palm Beach.

* On 7/01/12, this release was corrected to clarify that impasse was declared by the Center in the fall of 2010, not in 2011.

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