Now that members of USW Local 8565 have ended our unfair labor practice strike at Rotek, Dr. Tim Gudszend, the company's president, desperately wants customers, government officials and the public to believe it's back to business as usual in Aurora.
Unfortunately, "business as usual" at Rotek means the company continues to break the law in its misguided attempts to avoid negotiating in good faith with our union.
The NLRB filed a complaint against Rotek for a long list of unfair labor practices, including allegations the company unilaterally implemented contract changes in January 2013 without first negotiating to a good faith impasse, and the company did not provide information necessary for bargaining.
In more than two months since we ended the strike by unconditionally offering to return to work, the company has recalled only 12 workers.
Essentially, the NLRB agrees with our union that the strike was caused and prolonged by the company's actions, and Rotek's replacement workers should be considered temporary.
The USW has filed additional unfair labor practice charges pertaining to the slow pace of the recall and the company's insistence that its replacement workers are now permanent employees.
Dr. Gudszend describes the endlessly concessionary proposal Rotek illegally implemented in January 2013 as reflecting the "economic realities" the company faces and that workers simply need to accept.
It is estimated the company's back pay liability has now topped $1 million, and it will continue to grow until the members of USW Local 8565 are returned to their jobs, an economic reality Rotek might delay but cannot escape.
In the meantime, we continue our fight to redefine "business as usual" in Aurora and urge your support for fairness and justice for workers at Rotek.
Bill Hyslop, Windham
USW Local 8565