Urgent Update on Fire Industry Strike
Bridgewater, New Jersey April 07, 2007 Business News(PRLEAP.COM) Patterson, N.Y., April 2007 – The National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) today announced its acceptance of the union’s request that it return to the bargaining table next week in Baltimore in an effort to settle a nationwide strike by Road Sprinkler Fitters Local 669, UA against specialty construction contractors represented by NFSA. The strike began on April 1.
The union’s 8,000 journeyman sprinkler fitters and apprentices install automatic fire sprinkler systems, a key aspect of public fire protection.
Al Gettler, NFSA’s Vice President of Industrial Relations and chief spokesman for the employer group, said, “The union is seeking a wage increase of about 30 percent, as well as changes in contract language that we are not willing to accept.”
Aside from the “outrageous” wage demand, Gettler indicated that there were complicated contract language issues involved, including one that would extend a prohibition on “double-breasting” – operating one company union and another non-union – to “unprecedented lengths.”
“The contract already prevents double-breasting,” he said, “but now the union wants to go far beyond the law and extend the prohibition to companies that have no legally recognized relationship.” Gettler indicated NFSA’s lawyers believed the union was “making an end run around the law” by proposing it be given unopposed card check elections rather than a direct expansion of the bargaining unit.
Despite the public safety issues involved, Gettler said it was “unknown” if the union would permit striking employees to make emergency repairs, if necessary.
Local 669 is headquartered in Columbia, Md. Its chief spokesman is Business Manager Bradley Karbowsky.
About the National Fire Sprinkler Association
Established in 1905, the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) is the voice of the fire sprinkler industry. NFSA leads the drive to get life-saving fire sprinklers into all buildings; provides support and resources for its members – fire sprinkler contractors, manufacturers and suppliers; and educates authorities having jurisdiction of fire control matters. Headquartered in Patterson, N.Y., NFSA has regional operations offices throughout the country. www.nfsa.org.
R&J Public Relations
R&J Public Relations