NLRB drops complaint against Honeywell

(WNDU) - All is not well for union workers at Honeywell.

The company was set to face trial in May on charges that it violated federal labor law during a ten month lockout of union workers at plants in South Bend and Buffalo that ended in February of 2017.

The United Auto Workers estimates the potential liability to the company—if found at fault—was in the range of $20 million.

“Families are important, incomes are important, and we have suffered. This is a critical blow to UAW Local 9 families,” said UAW Local 9 President John Suher, Sr. “It’s sad that one person has to take down over 300 people in this plant. This is a union plant, UAW Local 9, and this has affected a lot of families from the lockout and this was the reason why we filed NLRB charges.”

Late Thursday afternoon it was announced that Honeywell’s potential liability had dropped to zero. New leadership at the National Labor Relations Board decided to drop the complaint the same agency had filed in July of 2017.

The trial that was scheduled to begin May 7th in Buffalo, New York has ben cancelled.

In a press release the UAW blamed NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb who was appointed by President Trump in November of 2017.

The release states that the “decision denies workers their day in court and highlights the dangerous role politics has taken at the NLRB.”

“The way this world is divided today it’s just sad that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer,” added Suher. “And it’s sad to say that America is being divided by corporate greed.”

A spokesperson for Honeywell issued a written statement saying the company thought all along that the complaint “had no merit.”

Earlier version:

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has dropped a complaint against Honeywell following the nine-month lockout.

The complaint said locking out 350 UAW workers in South Bend and Green Island, N.Y., violated federal labor law.

A trial scheduled to begin in Buffalo this May was canceled, with potential liability to Honeywell for over $20 million.

UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles says "we urge all workers to remember their brothers and sisters in South Bend and Green Island when they go to the polls. This case shows why we must support candidates who will advance the interests of hard-working Americans and their families over big business.”

After the announcement, Honeywell sent NewsCenter 16 a statement saying "The NLRB notified us of its decision. As we've said before, Honeywell believed from the outset that the complaint had no merit. We bargained in good faith to reach a new, five-year collective bargaining agreement that compensates our employees well-above what the average person in the area earns. Our union-represented employees ratified that agreement last year."