The Unite Here laundry workers union plans a demonstration today at an Intel Corp. office in Chandler to protest alleged unfair labor practices of a subcontractor that handle’s the company’s specialized cleanroom garments.
Brian Callaci, research analyst for Unite Here, said the subcontractor, Prudential Overall Supply, is interfering with its employees rights to unionize and is not following minimum wage regulations.
Although most of the issue involve Prudential locations in California, the union is protesting here because Intel’s Office of Corporate Responsibility is in Chandler, he said.
“Intel is a leader in adhering to an Electronics Industry Code of Conduct, and that code says that suppliers are required to follow the rules including the right to freedom of association to join a union,” he said.
Callaci said union officials hope to talk to Intel representatives about requiring their supplier to abide by the code.
According to the union, Irvine, Calif.-based Prudential has responded with “threats, coercion and intimidation” to its efforts to organize Prudential’s workers. The union said it has filed 20 unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board for alleged violations at 11 Prudential facilities. Strikes also are under way at four Prudential locations in California.
Prudential denied violating employee rights, saying the company maintains the “best possible working conditions” for all personnel. Prudential vice president Jerry Martin said the issue primarily centers around procedures to be used for workers voting on whether or not to join the union.
“Prudential’s philosophy in regard to unions is straight forward. We believe that employees have the right to say ‘yes’ to union representation and the freedom to say ‘no,’” he said. “We will continue to vigorously oppose this campaign and to defend our employee’s rights.”
He said some Prudential locations are unionized, accounting for about 25 percent of the company’s work force. He said the union is trying to bring Intel into the dispute to put additional pressure on Prudential.
Gary Niekerk, operations manager for Intel’s corporate responsibility office, said company officials are willing to talk with union representatives, but the firm believes its supplier is abiding by the code.
“If the union has some allegation, we will go to the supplier and ask them what is going on,” Niekerk said. “At the same time, we’re not in a position to tell them how to run their business.”
Niekerk said Prudential is not a supplier to Intel in Arizona.