May 21, 201211:18 AMBlog
Mill workers in Kent strike, allege unfair labor practices
Workers at the Davis Wire mill in Kent went on strike early this morning. The company laid off 27 employees three days after workers voted to strike on May 12.
Teamsters Local 117 has filed Unfair Labor Practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that the layoffs represent a violation of federal labor law. In the last month, the company has been accused of 11 additional violations of the law, including bad faith bargaining, worker surveillance, worker intimidation and illegal threats to shut down the facility.
In addition to the Unfair Labor Practice charges, workers have joined a class-action lawsuit accusing their employer of denying them the right to take rest and meal breaks and working employees without paying them over a three year period.
The complaint, which was filed in King County Superior Court on April 30, describes sweatshop-like conditions, in which employees were pressured to work 12-hour shifts without a break and eat lunch at their work stations while operating dangerous machinery.
The 85 workers at the Kent facility have been without a contract since Dec. 1 of last year.
Davis Wire also operates plants in Irwindale, Calif., and Pueblo, Colo.