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Propper Intl settles charges of labor law allegation

08
Oct '08
Propper International, the largest manufacturer of military uniforms for the U.S. Department of Defense, has agreed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to settle allegations in order to avoid civil prosecution for numerous alleged federal labor law violations.

Headquartered in St. Charles, Missouri, Propper operates eight manufacturing facilities in western Puerto Rico and received over $100 million in 2007 from U.S. Department of Defense to manufacture military uniforms.

After an investigation conducted by the NLRB's San Juan office, the agency found merit in many charges that Propper had violated the rights of workers who are seeking union representation with the union UNITE HERE.

Propper thus found it in its best interest to settle the charges rather than face a NLRB complaint and civil prosecution.

As part of the settlement, Propper agrees to post in six Puerto Rico factories a notice informing workers of its commitment to refrain from violating the law.

As part of its notice, Propper will be informing its workers that it will not threaten employees with plant closures or job loss for supporting a union; will not coercively tell employees to abstain from supporting the union; will not give the impression to employees that the company is spying on them; and will not participate in the making, posting, or distribution of any offensive material violative of the National Labor Relations Act that disparages employees.

These are illegal activities in which the company has allegedly engaged to dissuade its employees from exercising their legal right to form a union.

Eliezer Rodriguez, President of the Unite Here Joint Board in Puerto Rico stated: "We expect that Propper will make the right decision to respect its workers' rights.

It's the least that workers should expect from a company that produces uniforms for soldiers that defend our rights every day."

Rafael Irrizarry, a Propper employee at the Las Marias factory, said, "We're organizing to improve our working conditions.

Right now many of us can't get by on the salaries we make, we don't get any paid sick days and many of us can't afford the health insurance.

I hope that with this settlement, Propper will allow my coworkers and me to organize without fear and intimidation."

UNITE HERE represents 465,000 workers in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico it represents approximately 2,000 workers in the laundry, hotel and manufacturing industries.

UNITE HERE


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