NLRB dismisses 2 complaints against union's leaders

Two unions - the Carpenters and the Teamsters - say they have been unfairly shut out of the Convention Center.

Saying it had no jurisdiction to handle the case, the National Labor Relations Board dismissed two complaints filed by members of Teamsters Local 107 against their union leaders, accusing them of failing to protect their work at the Convention Center.

The two men, Edwin Taylor and Michael Conway, said leaders of Local 107 local did not represent members' interests when they did not sign a new Customer Satisfaction Agreement by the May 5 deadline imposed by Convention Center management, causing union members to lose their ability to work in the center.

After the deadline passed, the work performed by the Teamsters and another union, the Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters, was divided among the four unions that did sign the agreement by the deadline.

Some of the Teamsters' responsibilities were taken over by employees of SMG, the West Conshohocken company hired to manage the center.

The Teamsters leaders objected to the deadline and the loss of jurisdiction, saying the deadline was unfairly imposed.

After Taylor's and Conway's complaints were filed in May, Teamsters Local 107 leader William Hamilton said that the union had acted in good faith and that Taylor and Conway were not members in good standing.

Conway had worked at the Convention Center for 21 years and was the top Teamster supervisor on site. Taylor was an occasional worker.

"The investigation disclosed that Teamsters did not sign the agreement by the deadline because, at that time, there were still unresolved issues regarding contributions to the union's benefit funds," NLRB regional director Dennis P. Walsh wrote in the dismissal letters, dated July 25.

"In addition," he wrote, "Teamsters thought, in good faith, that the authority was bargaining in bad faith and that the authority's bargaining ultimatum was unlawful."

But, Walsh noted, the NLRB could not pursue the complaint because the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority was a government entity, and the NLRB does not enforce laws pertaining to government entities.

On July 14, the board also dismissed complaints filed by the Carpenters and Teamsters union against the Convention Center on the same grounds. The unions moved their complaints to the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, which does have jurisdiction.