Utility Workers Union of America and its Local 369 announced today that the National Labor Relations Board in the U.S. issued a complaint this week charging Covanta Energy with violating labor law at 46 Covanta locations across the U.S.
The complaint names the parent corporation and every Covanta subsidiary in the U.S., and challenges numerous illegal rules maintained by Covanta in its employee manuals.
“The Board’s complaint confirms our charge that this company routinely violates employee rights guaranteed by U.S. labor law,” stated Gary P. Sullivan, President of UWUA Local 369. “We urge Covanta to immediately end its illegal conduct, and to negotiate a fair collective agreement for our members at the Covanta SEMASS plant in Massachusetts.”
The U.S. government’s complaint cites numerous illegal Covanta policies, including rules restricting employee solicitations and distribution of literature, prohibiting employees from discussing their wages or other information the company claims to be “confidential,” and forbidding employees from providing information about Covanta to “outside representatives” without management’s permission.
The complaint challenges rules in three different versions of Covanta’s employee manual. “Covanta has publicly claimed to have cleaned up these unlawful policies, but this complaint shows that every time the company has issued a new handbook, it has included patently illegal rules designed to intimidate employees from exercising their rights,” declared Sullivan.
Workers at the Massachusetts facility voted for representation by UWUA in May 2008, but have been unable to win a first union contract because of unfair company bargaining demands. The Labor Board complaint and other information concerning the Union’s campaign for justice for Covanta workers is available at the Union’s website.
Covanta operates waste incinerators and related facilities throughout the U.S., and is seeking to develop new projects in Canada, China, Ireland, the U.K., and the Netherlands. UWUA Local 369 represents over 3,000 working men and women in the utility industry throughout Massachusetts, and is affiliated with Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO.
For more information: David Leonardi, UWUA Local 369, 508-801-1540; Mark Brooks, UWUA, 615-259-1186