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Pacoima | Valley Focus

Price Pfister Workers File Labor Complaint

November 02, 1996|BARRY STAVRO

Employees at the embattled Price Pfister plant filed a complaint Friday with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that the company threatened workers who protest against layoffs at the faucet manufacturing firm.

Peter Olney, a labor activist, said a Price Pfister executive held a meeting last week with employees and complained about public protests being held by the workers. The executive also warned them that the company would not agree to additional severance packages in its Teamster contract if these protests continued, and that layoffs might be speeded up, according to Olney.

The company warned workers that it would videotape any who showed up for a public protest the next day, Olney said. He said he will present more than 40 signed declarations by Price Pfister workers to support these charges.

"To resort to those kinds of threats is very amateurish," Olney said.

The NLRB said it would take two to four months to complete its investigation.

Price Pfister is laying off hundreds of workers, shifting many jobs to Mexico to cut labor costs and may shut its entire Pacoima operation and move out of state, company officials have said.

Since the moves were disclosed, worker protests have escalated, and local politicians have vowed to try to keep the plant open and save jobs.

Price Pfister claims the cost-cutting steps are needed because it is overhauling an old manufacturing system to cut the lead content in its faucets to satisfy California law.

But labor officials said Price Pfister has mismanaged the company by failing to update its manufacturing techniques, and is now using environmental restrictions as an excuse to ship jobs to Mexico.

Officials at Price Pfister could not be reached for comment.

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