Federal contractor charged with labor law violations and wage theft

The National Labor Relations Board has filed a complaint alleging that one of the federal government’s largest contractors has violated federal labor laws.

The complaint issued by Region 5 of the NLRB states that General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) took illegal action to prevent workers at its Alexandria, Virginia call center from joining a union.

In a related matter, the Communication Workers of America (CWA) has charged GDIT with massive and systemic wage theft and has called on the Wage and Hours Division of the Department of Labor to take action against the company.

GDIT, which reported $4.4 billion in revenue in 2016, has extensive contracts with the US military, intelligence services, and civilian agencies.

Among its many government contracts is one with the Pension Benefit Guarantee Board  (PBGB).

Under this contract, 80 GDIT employees at its Alexandria call center answer inquiries from people who receive or are about to receive pension benefits from PBGB.

These workers in 2016 began working with CWA to form a union.

The NLRB’s complaint says that GDIT management responded to the workers’ desire to form a union with coercion and threats.

“I’m happy that GDIT is finally being taken to task for breaking the law,” said Sabrina Batta-Hopson, a union supporter at the Alexandria call center. “I hope this labor board complaint will prevent the company from spreading more misinformation to other workers.”

Among other things, the NLRB alleges that the call center’s program manager “by e-mail promulgated and maintained” a rule against employees talking to other employees about joining a union.

The same program manager during an employee meeting misinformed workers that a union wouldn’t help them get a pay raise because it would take an act of Congress to get one.

At another employee meeting, the program manager threatened employees with the loss of benefits if they joined a union and falsely claimed that if they joined a union, the company would lose its contract with PBGB.

The NLRB’s complaint is due to be heard on May 22 by an administrative judge.

“These federally contracted workers are entitled to the protections of our labor laws,” said Alex van Schaick, a CWA attorney. “GDIT not only abuses workers’ rights, but is also the focus of serious complaints about wage theft and other abuses, and may owe its employees over $100 million in back wages.”

The wage theft to which Van Schaick referred involves workers at 11 GDIT call centers all across the US.

These call centers operate under contract with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

These workers answer people’s questions about Medicare, help people enroll in Affordable Care Act health care plans, and help Medicare recipients get medical equipment to manage their health problems.

CWA wants the Wage and Hour Division to investigate its charge that GDIT is violating the law by misclassfying workers in order to pay a wage lower than the prevailing wage required by the Services Contract Act, by which contractors must abide in order get contracts with the federal government.

The union estimates that GDIT owes $107 million in back pay.

The crux of the union complaint is that GDIT’s call center workers are trained extensively and have broad knowledge about services that callers are seeking, but their job classification reflects a much lower level of skill and training.

“I’ve had two rounds of extensive training to get to my current job. It’s a lot of responsibility and a lot of work,” said Adrian Powe, a worker at GDIT’s Hattiesburg, Mississippi call center. “But I’m being paid at a much lower rate. I’m being cheated, and the federal government must hold GDIT accountable. GDIT needs to follow the contract it agreed to.”

Powe makes $9.64 an hour, but said he should make $11 to $12 an hour.

CWA estimates that if workers at the Hattiesburg call center were classified correctly and paid the wage they deserve, their annual wages would increase by between $3682 and $6572.

In addition to the workers in Hattiesburg, CWA has also filed wage theft complaints on behalf of GDIT workers in Kansas, Louisiana, and Virginia.

Kathleen Flick, who works at a GDIT call center in Bogualusa, Louisiana said that it’s wrong for GDIT to be stealing money from the working poor.

“I can’t run my air conditioning in the summer because I can’t afford the electric bills,” Flick said. “When I needed a major car repair, I had to take the money out of my 401(k) retirement plan. I’d like to visit my kids, both of whom are active military, but I can’t afford to do it.”

CWA President Chris Shelton said that the union’s wage theft charges will be test for the Trump administration.

“This will be a real test of whether laws that safeguard working people are actually enforced under the Trump administration,” Shelton said. “We’ve heard a lot of promises from this president about defending American workers. It’s time for action, not rhetoric.”


NLRB: Columbia grad student are workers, may join a union

The US National Labor Relations Board recently ruled that graduate students working as academic assistants at Columbia University are workers who have the right to join a union and bargain collectively.

A day after the ruling, a delegation of Columbia graduate students from the Graduate Workers of Columbia-UAW Local 2110 (GWC-UAW) delivered a letter to Columbia’s president Lee Bollinger urging him to allow a union representation election without interference and should graduate students vote to join a union to “immediately commence good­faith negotiations for a contract” should graduate students decide to join the union.”

“The NLRB clearly recognizes the increasingly indispensable role we play in carrying out Columbia’s world-class research and teaching missions—we teach hundreds of classes and help bring in roughly $1 billion in research grants each year,” reads a message to members on the union’s website. “Up to this point, Columbia has fruitlessly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on an expensive outside law firm to oppose our right to a union. They say a union is ‘not necessary,’ yet Columbia still fails to fully address the constant insecurity and unpredictability of our working conditions. We hope they will do better moving forward, and more than 160 elected and community leaders told Columbia last year that they agree with us.”

Graduate students at Columbia began organizing their union in 2014 after New York University recognized the The Graduate Student Organizing Committee-UAW Local 2110, the union of graduate students at NYU.

What started as conversations among concerned Columbia graduate students quickly transformed into a campuswide movement.

In May 2014, GWC-UAW held its first town-hall type meeting. The meeting hall was packed with graduate students from more than 30 departments.

By June GWC-UAW had union activists in nearly every department at Columbia.

With an organization in place, the union began asking graduate students to sign cards signifying their interest in joining a union.

By the end of the semester, union activists had gathered 1700 union cards.

In December with the union cards in hand, a delegation from the union asked Columbia’s administration to recognize the union, but the administration ignored the request.

A week later, GWC-UAW filed a petition for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board, but an NLRB regional office denied the request.

It said that a previous NLRB decision called Brown University prevented the regional office from recognizing graduate students as workers.

The union appealed the regional office’s decision, and on August 23, the NLRB by a 3-1 vote overturned Brown and recognized graduate students who work as teaching and research assistants as employees.

In announcing its decision, the NLRB said that the Brown decision “deprived an entire category of workers of the protection of the (National Labor Relations) Act without convincing justification.”

More than a year and one-half elapsed between the time that GWC-UAW filed its petition and the final decision by the NLRB. During that period, GWC-UAW continued to organize, agitate and find ways to serve graduate students.

In the spring of 2016, international graduate students who are members of GWC-UAW organized a series of workshops to provide information on taxes and visas to other international student workers.

GWC-UAW members in the spring joined other low-wage workers in demonstrations for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and worked with the Graduate Student Advisory Council to improve pay and benefits for graduate students.

As a result, Columbia in May announced new benefits for graduate workers, including paid parental leave, a child care subsidy, and expanded fee waivers.

In July, Columbia announced that it would raise pay for graduate student workers.

The union applauded these gains but pointed out that they were the result of solidarity and collective action rather than the administration’s generosity and that much more needed to be done.

“With collective bargaining, we would have more power to build on improvements we have already won by joining together across campus over the last few years. We could not only bargain as equals for additional improvements, but could also secure those provisions in a contract that Columbia could not change without our agreement—as they do frequently with our health and dental benefits,” said the union in a message to members.

Appeals court rules against FedEx in its attempt to avoid collective bargaining

A three-judge panel on the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has told FedEx that it must engage in collective bargaining with company drivers in Charlotte, North Carolina and Croydon, Pennsylvania who voted to join Teamster locals.

The Croydon and Charlotte drivers voted in 2014 to join Teamsters Local 107 and Local 71 respectively.

Since the two votes, FedEx has refused to recognize and bargain with the workers’ unions.

FedEx contended that the NLRB erred when it recognized the drivers as a group of workers with a shared community interests and called for a union representation election among the drivers.

The judges, however, disagreed with FedEx.

In ruling in favor of the NLRB, the court upheld the NLRB’s Specialty Healthcare framework for determining an appropriate bargaining unit for a union representation election.

The Specialty Healthcare framework allows a group of workers who share a community of interests to form a union even if the group does not include all other workers on the job.

In 2011, the NLRB ruled that a group of certified nursing assistants working at a nursing home operated by Specialty Healthcare in Mobile, Alabama could form a union that did not include nurses and other nursing home workers.

That decision ignited an outcry from anti-union businesses, which contended that the Specialty Healthcare framework would allow the formation of “micro unions” that would create an unfair burden for businesses.

In 2013, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an appeal by one of these anti-union businesses seeking to overturn the Specialty Healthcare framework.

Like their cohorts on the Sixth Circuit Appeals Court, The three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit Court also refused to overturn the Specialty Healthcare framework and noted that the NLRB acted within its authority.

FedEx argued that the appropriate bargaining unit at Croydon and Charlotte should have included dockworkers, most of whom were part-time temporary workers, who would have then been eligible to vote in the union representation election.

But the NLRB found that the work of drivers and dockworkers did not overlap enough to create an overwhelming community of interests; therefore, if the drivers wanted a union to represent them alone they had a right to vote for such a union.

The Eighth Circuit Court judges concurred.

Before the Eighth Circuit Court panel issued its ruling, the NLRB ruled that FedEx had to bargain with another group of who voted to join the Teamsters.

The NLRB in February ordered FedEx to cease and desist from refusing to bargain with its drivers at its terminal in Stockton, California. The drivers voted a year ago to join Teamsters Local 439.

“This is a huge victory for the drivers who voted to form their union with Local 439, and we will continue to fight on behalf of these workers until they ratify their first contract,” said Ken Guertin, Local 439 secretary-treasurer after the NLRB issued its ruling.

The FedEx workers at Stockton, Charlotte, and Croydon joined drivers in South Brunswick, New Jersey in voting to join the Teamsters, which has been trying to organize non-union FexEx in a terminal-by-terminal campaign.

The terminal-by-terminal approach has been tough going for the Teamsters. They’ve lost six out of ten terminal elections.

In trying to keep its workers from joining a union, FedEx has used a carrot and stick approach.

In Croydon when drivers filed a petition for a union representation election, FedEx gave them an $0.80 an hour raise and stopped using an overly punitive report card to grade workers’ performance.

In Stockton when the organizing effort got underway, FedEx used the stick. In one instance it took away work hours from Edgar Aguilar, an active union supporter. The company recently agreed to pay Aguilar $4,900 in back pay for hours it took away from him at the time of the election.

Despite a mixed record of union representation elections at FedEx, the Teamsters said that they are still committed to organizing FedEx.

“The International Union, working side-by-side with all the freight local unions, is committed to this campaign over the long-term,” said Tyson Johnson, director of the Teamsters National Freight Division. “We hope that the company will get serious and negotiate a fair contract for the workers.”

The recent victories at the Eighth Circuit Court and at the NLRB should help boost the organizing campaign.


ATI’s illegal lockout ends after union members ratify new contract

Members of the United Steelworkers (USW) at 12 Allegheny Technologies Incorporated (ATI) plants in six states ratified by a five to one margin a new collective bargaining agreement.

The ratification vote ends a six-month lockout that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) said was illegal.

The workers will return to work on March 13.

The NLRB on February 12 issued a complaint charging ATI with illegally locking out its 2200 union workers.

Ten days after the NLRB ruling, the company and USW reached a tentative agreement that members ratified on March 1.

“(The agreement) doesn’t solve all our problems, but it’s definitely a victory for the union considering what the company wanted to do to us,” said Walt Hill, a USW Local 1196 member and the union’s contract coordinator to the Pittsburgh Tribune.

When bargaining began last spring, ATI, one of the world’s leading producers of specialty steel and other metal products, proposed a list of 145 concessions that USW said would “cost workers thousands of dollars a year and erode decades of collective bargaining gains.”

After months of bargaining, the union pared down the list of concessions, but on August 6, ATI presented its last, best, and final offer to USW negotiators and issued an ultimatum: Present the offer to your members by August 10 and recommend ratification.

The company’s offer still contained a long list of concessions including a two-tiered wage system that would lower wages for new workers, new, much higher health care costs, the removal of restrictions on outsourcing work, changes to the grievance procedure, and the elimination of retiree health care.

As a result, the union refused the company’s ultimatum.

On August 15, the company locked out its workers. The lockout affected ATI plants in Western Pennsylvania; Albany, Oregon; Lockport, New York; Louisville, Ohio; New Bedford, Massachusetts; and Waterbury, Connecticut.

Evidence suggests that ATI had been planning the lockout for some time. Before the lockout began, the company began hiring replacement workers and extra security guards.

After being locked out, ATI’s workers took up their positions on picket lines outside of the company’s factories and stayed there even as winter set in and temperatures fell below freezing.

Meanwhile, USW filed unfair labor practices charges against ATI.

In December, the NLRB informed the union that it would file an unfair labor practices complaint against ATI for initiating an illegal lockout and for bad faith bargaining before and during the lockout.

“In all my years as a negotiator, I have never seen a company engage in such obvious bad-faith bargaining,” said USW’s lead negotiator International Vice President Tom Conway after the NLRB informed the union of its intentions.

Nearly two months later, the board filed its complaint and scheduled a May hearing with an administrative judge.

Had the complaint been heard and had the judge concurred that ATI’s lockout was illegal, the company would have had to compensate workers for their lost wages, benefits, and other losses resulting from the lockout.

After workers ratified the agreement, the NLRB dropped its complaint against ATI.

When bargaining on the new agreement began, the union was facing some difficult circumstances.

The decline in oil prices and the subsequent cutbacks in oil exploration had weakened the demand for products that ATI sold to the oil and gas industry, its second biggest customer.

Sales to the industry had declined by 34 percent.

Furthermore, worldwide overproduction and a resulting glut, reduced demand for its flat-rolled metal products by 60 percent.

As a result, the company’s net income for the past two years has been negative.

Entering negotiations, ATI was looking to reduce labor costs and used the temporary lack of demand for it products as an excuse.

While the company was telling workers that business was bad and they needed to accept concessions, it was telling a different story to investors.

According to the company’s 2014 annual report, the company’s future was bright, a quick turnaround was on the horizon, and the company would be profitable again soon, perhaps as  early as 2016.

The collective bargaining agreement that the two sides finally negotiated does provide ATI with some opportunities for lowering its labor costs.

ATI will be able to reduce its pension liabilities because new hires will no longer be eligible for the union workers’ defined benefit pension, and the workers’ health insurance plan will  no longer pay 100 percent of health care expenses after deductibles are paid.

The new health insurance plan covers 90 percent of the costs and workers will pay the rest until reaching the maximum for out-of-pocket expenses–$15oo for individuals and $3000 for families.

But workers will now be eligible for quarterly profit-sharing bonuses, a feature that the union was able to restore after the company succeeded in eliminating them in a previous collective bargaining agreement.

Workers will also receive a $1 an hour increase in their base pay, and the company will pay another $0.50 an hour to the Voluntary Employee Benefits Account that funds the retiree health care benefit.

The company will pay a modest signing bonus and agreed to contract language saying that it will not eliminate jobs by outsourcing them.

Western Pennsylvania ATI workers interviewed by the Pittsburgh Tribune said that the final agreement was better than they expected.

“Overall, it’s not a bad contract,” said Kirby DeCroo to the Tribune. “It’s (better) than what they were trying to jam down our throats.”

NLRB expands the definition of “joint employer”

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on August 27 ruled that Browning Ferris Inc., a Houston-based waste management firm, is a joint employer of workers hired through a temporary staffing agency at its recycling center in Milpitas, California.

The ruling means that Browning Ferris must bargain collectively with staff at its Newby Island Resource Recovery Center who were hired by Leadpoint, an Arizona-based temporary staffing agency, to sort recyclable materials, maintain recycling equipment, and provide housekeeping services.

The board’s ruling expands the board’s previous definition of joint employer. The expanded definition could affect a pending NLRB case in which McDonald’s has been identified as a joint employer.

If the NLRB determines that McDonald’s and the owners of McDonald’s franchise are joint employers, McDonald’s could be held liable for unfair labor actions committed by its franchise owners.

In its Browning Ferris ruling, the NLRB noted that the number of temporary workers has expanded significantly over the last 35 years and that many of these contingent workers, hired through staffing agencies, are in fact permanent employees.

Using a temporary staffing agency to staff work sites allows companies to avoid responsibilities toward employees that the law requires.

In 2008, about 60 workers at Browning Ferris’ Newby Island recycling center, decided that they wanted to join Teamsters Local 350.

Although they worked at a Browning Ferris facility, they were paid and supervised by Leadpoint.

Leadpoint’s contract with Browning Ferris established restrictions that made meaningful bargaining between the union and Leadpoint difficult. For example, the contract put a cap on wages that Leadpoint could pay its employees.

The union sought to bargain directly with Browning Ferris, but the company refused.

The union filed charges with a regional NLRB office arguing that Browning Ferris was a joint employer because in addition to imposing wage restrictions, it maintained the right to approve new hires, could unilaterally fire workers, and exercised ultimate authority over the workers’ working conditions and schedules.

The NLRB’s regional office in California originally sided with Browning Ferris. The regional office determined that while Browning Ferris had the authority to determine wages and working conditions, the union hadn’t shown that the company had exercised this authority.

The regional office based its ruling on a 30-year old precedent that had narrowed the definition of what constitutes a joint employer.

The Teamsters appealed the regional office’s decision, and the NLRB in a 3-2 decision sided with union and determined that the precedent cited by the regional office undermined the intent of the National Labor Relations Act, which among other things, exists to encourage stable, meaningful collective bargaining.

The NLRB ruled that a joint employer relationship exists when companies “share or codetermine those matters governing the essential terms or conditions of employment” and that it didn’t matter whether the dominant party exercised direct control of the workforce.

“We are pleased with this decision, which will provide justice to workers who have been fighting for fairness in the workplace for a long time,” said Larry Daugherty, principal officer of Teamsters Local 350. “We are honored to support these courageous workers who took a stand to form a union—they’ve hung in there the entire time that this process has played out. We are confident that with this decision the workers will able to engage in real collective bargaining.”

In a media release on the NLRB’s decision, the Teamsters said that the NLRB’s j decision will affect a large number of industries that use temporary staffing agencies, including the hospitality, retail, manufacturing, construction, financial service, cleaning services, and security services industries.

The ruling could also affect the fast food industry, where large corporations like McDonald’s sell franchises to operate their local dining facilities.

In 2012, thousands of fast food workers participated in strikes for better wages.

Hundreds of these strikers were either fired or faced intimidation by their employers when they returned to work.

As a result, 310 unfair labor charges were filed with the NLRB on behalf of aggrieved McDonald’s employees.

McDonald’s argues that it is not responsible for the actions of its franchise owners because they are independent businesses.

But the NLRB’s general counsel has found that McDonald’s is a joint employer because it exerts substantial control over the employees of franchise owners.

The NLRB is now in the process of determining whether its general counsel is correct and has consolidated the many charges.

Hearings have and will be held in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

When the hearings are complete and all sides have had a chance to provide evidence, the NLRB will make its final ruling.

If the NLRB rules that McDonald’s is a joint employer, then the company could be held liable for the unfair labor practices charges, which include discriminatory discipline, reduction in hours, and discharges against employees who participated in the strikes.

Being liable for these charges may give McDonald’s an incentive to bargain collectively with a union representing these workers to resolve these charges.

Judge upholds T-Mobile workers’ right to free speech

Americans take for granted their right to free speech. After all, it’s protected by the Bill of Rights, right?

But millions of American workers lose that right when they report to work.

Under the guise of protecting proprietary information, some corporations like T-Mobile require employees to sign confidentiality agreements that forbid workers from talking about certain topics.

T-Mobile’s confidentiality agreement prohibits employees from talking about many things including how much money they are paid.

According to T-Mobile’s employee hand book, If employees talk to others including fellow workers about their salary, they can be disciplined or even fired.

At least that was the case until March 18 when National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge Christine Dibble ruled that T-Mobile’s restrictions on employees talking to each other about their wages was a violation of the National Labor Relations Act because it hampered the workers’ ability to discuss common grievances and to form a union to address those grievances.

“We are happy and relieved,” said Carolina Figueroa, a T-Mobile call center worker from Albuquerque, about the judge’s ruling. “We are finally being heard. My coworkers and I at T-Mobile US will have the right to speak out against unfair treatment and should not be muzzled or retaliated against – and with today’s decision, the company has to declare this to all of its employees nationwide.”

The judge ordered T-Mobile to stop forbidding workers from talking about their wages and salaries and to stop a number of other restrictions on free speech and free association that hamper union organizing.

Moreover, the company is required to post a written notice about changes to its rules restricting free speech and free association at all work sites.

Josh Coleman found out the hard way about T-Mobile’s rules against talking to fellow employees about conditions on the job. Coleman, a top earner at the T-Mobile call center in Wichita, Kansas, was fired after he began talking to other workers about forming a union.

Coleman said that T-Mobile was aggressive when it came to suppressing talk about a union on the job.

“Through repeated team meetings and written policy, T-Mobile US unlawfully silenced employees and created a culture of fear to stifle communication,” said Coleman. “I hope that now thousands of my T-Mobile US co-workers will know they can come out of the shadows and build the union that so many of us want.”

Coleman and Figueroa are two among thousands of T-Mobile workers who have formed T-Mobile Workers United, or TU, an organization of T-Mobile and Metro PCS employees, who have joined together for a voice and fair treatment on the job.

TU is supported by the Communication Workers of America.

CWA said that Judge Dibble’s ruling protects the free speech and free association rights of all 40,000 T-Mobile workers.

“At issue were illegal corporate nationwide policies that block workers from organizing or even talking to each other about problems at work,” reads a CWA statement about Judge Dibble’s ruling. “Workers throughout the T-Mobile US system were subjected to and effectively silenced by these illegal policies.”

In addition to lifting the company’s ban on discussing wages and salary, the ruling also allows T-Mobile workers to speak freely to the media, talk to a third party about wage and hour complaints, speak freely about the company, and engage in union organizing activity.

The ruling also prohibits T-Mobile from “interfering with, restraining, or coercing its employees in the exercise of their rights” to organize a union.

While most T-Mobile workers do not belong to a union that can bargain collectively with the company, there are a few T-Mobile workers who have won collective bargaining rights.

Adrian Dominguez works at Metro PCS retail store in New York City. Metro PCS is owned by T-Mobile.

Dominguez and his co-workers voted to join CWA in 2013 despite an intense anti-union campaign that included interrogations of individual workers about their union activity in a dimly lit cellar.

“Now that we have a union we aren’t scared to talk about our working conditions at work,” said Dominguez. “I am hopeful that my colleagues across the country will realize that the law protects their rights to discuss the benefits of joining together into a union, now that the judge has found T-Mobile US guilty of preventing workers from talking about their working conditions.”

Austin bus company required to compensate workers for its unfair labor practices

The National Labor Relations Board recently announced that a settlement was reached in an unfair labor practices dispute between Travis Transportation Management, Inc. and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1091 of Austin.

The settlement calls for Travis Transportation to pay $655,000 to its 600 employees as compensation for lost benefits and wages.

The NLRB filed a complaint against Travis after Local 1091 charged the company with unfair labor practices.

The charge resulted from actions taken by Travis Transportation and McDonald Transportation Associates during contract negotiations.

“The National Labor Relations Board Region 16 office in Fort Worth agreed with (Local 1091) that the Employer violated the National Labor Relations Act,” said the NLRB in a media statement about the settlement.

The dispute that led to the settlement began in 2012 when Cap Metro, the Austin area’s regional transportation authority, decided to fully privatize bus service and awarded a contract to McDonald Transit Associates for the operation of 44 of Cap Metro’s bus routes.

McDonald subcontracted with Travis Transportation to operate its newly awarded routes.

As a condition for taking over the bus routes, McDonald and Travis were required to recognize Local 1091, which had a collective bargaining agreement with its previous employer. McDonald and Travis were also required to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with Local 1091.

The negotiations that took place turned out to be a sham.

As soon as it was feasible, McDonald and Travis declared a bargaining impasse and, according to the NLRB, unilaterally and illegally implemented cuts to employee benefits and pay.

They reduced employer pension and health insurance contributions, They made workers pay more out-of-pocket expenses for medical treatment, and they implemented a two-tier pay system that resulted in lower pay for new hires.

The companies also tried to squelch on-the-job organizing by the union and discriminated against union leaders.

McDonald is a Fort Worth-based company that contracts with a number local governments and regional transportation authorities for transportation and related services.

McDonald is a subsidiary of  RATP Dev America, which in turn is owned by the RATP Group, a public corporation owned by the French government.

The RATP Group operates most of Paris’ transportation system. It also operates other public transportation systems throughout the world.

After McDonald and Travis unilaterally implemented their cuts, members of Local 1091 voted to authorize a strike.

There was some speculation that a strike would take place in 2012 during the initial run of Austin’s new Formula 1 Grand Prix racing event, but a strike never materialized.

The union, however, did file unfair labor practices charges against its members’ new employer.

Local 1091 originally sought $1.3 million as compensation for the employers’ illegal actions.

In addition to paying $655,000 in compensation, Travis Transportation must also post notices in the workplace providing workers with details of the settlement and notifying workers of their right to join a union and bargain collectively.

The Austin Chronicle reports that Local 1091 President Jay Wyatt called the settlement, “a major vindication of workers’ rights and a ‘major victory of (Travis) employees’.”