Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) striking workers represented by the CWA and IBEW unions have been accused by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) of harassing replacement workers at hotels in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
The NLRB sought a court order to prevent striking Verizon union workers from picketing and using alleged strong-arm tactics at area hotels housing Verizon employees and subcontractors.
Citing NLRB court documents filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Boston, the Boston Herald reported that members of the local Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers chapters have been engaged in what the NLRB calls "highly disruptive" picketing.
Among the activities union workers have allegedly engaged in: shouting to hotel guests that they were staying with "scabs" at bedbug-infested hotels; blocking hotel entrances; threatening and yelling obscenities at hotel workers; assaulting a Verizon subcontractor; damaging car tires; and using air horns that woke up guests.
NLRB said that the restraining order should be issued because the picketers are violating the National Labor Relations Act by posing a "serious threat" to the free flow of commerce by pressuring the hotels to stop doing business with Verizon.
In related news, Verizon filed a charge against the unions with the NLRB on May 11.
The IBEW denied that its members have been engaged in any wrongdoing.
"It's been pretty low-key," said Myles Calvey, business manager of IBEW Local 2222 in Dorchester. "There's been no craziness. We have been respectful as we can be."
While neither the unions nor Verizon have come to an agreement on a new contract, the provider, CWA and IBEW unions came back to the negotiating table last week. The two sides have been meeting with U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez to sort out issues.
During the negotiation process with the federal mediator, Verizon and the unions have agreed to refrain from making public comments as talks progress.
- Boston Herald has this article
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