Complaint filed against Bryant

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 14, 2007

A dispute over the dismissal of a Bryant Health Center Inc. employee and charges of unfair labor practices at the center will go to trial before an administrative law judge of the National Labor Relations Board next year.

By July 25, 2007, Christina Cox, a worker at the Fifth Street nursing home, was discharged, according to a complaint filed before the NLRB Region 9.

Teamsters Local Union 92 alleges that Cox lost her job because she “formed, joined or assisted the union and engaged in concerted activities” and discussed the disciplinary action imposed by Bryant for soliciting or collecting contributions or distributing literature on company time.

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The union also charges that Robert Morris, administrator at the health center, “impliedly threatened” to cut workers’ pay if they went union.

“(The center) has been interfering with, restraining and coercing employees in the exercise of their rights guaranteed in (the National Labor Relations Act),” the complaint states. “(The center) has been discriminating in regard to the hire or tenure or terms or conditions of employment of its employees, thereby discouraging membership in a labor organization.”

Morris referred questions to the health center’s attorney, Ronald Mason of Mason Law Firm, a Dublin-based firm specializing in labor, civil rights and OSHA law.

“We deny those allegations and we believe we haven’t done anything wrong,” Mason said in a phone interview from his office Wednesday morning. “We intend to prove to a judge that we haven’t done anything wrong.

“Bryant has been a long established company. We followed the law and we don’t believe we have violated the law. These kind of cases get filed all the time.”

Calls were also placed to Jonathan Bowman of the Teamsters and Gary Muffley, Regional Director, Region 9, National Labor Relations Board and were not returned by press time.

A NLRB notice has scheduled the trial for 9 a.m. Jan. 15, 2008, in the Conference Room, Second Floor, City Center, 301 S. Third St. However Mason anticipates that date to be changed.