NEW YORK, NY (05/24/2012)(readMedia)-- Teamsters Local 1-L will be joined by hundreds of union members and other supporters to protest outside the regional headquarters of the US Small Business Administration in downtown Manhattan to demand that the agency end its investment in Westbury Partners. Based in Long Island, Westbury Partners is a private equity fund that owns a portfolio of companies including AFL Web Printing -- a New Jersey company with a history of breaking the law and violating workers' rights.
Westbury Partners has been approved by the federal government as a Small Business Investment Corporation (SBIC) and has received at least $100 million in funding from the federal agency. As part of the SBIC program, the SBA is responsible for auditing Westbury and has the power to revoke the company's SBIC license. SBA regulations are supposed to prevent the agency from investing in firms that violate the law and engage in illegal activity.
Westbury's subsidiary, AFL Web Printing, has a troubling history of repeat illegal activity that puts the federal government's investment at risk and violates the rules and regulations of the SBA. For example, on March 27, 2012 a federal judge of the National Labor Relations Board found AFL Web Printing guilty of illegally firing workers in June 2010 for trying to join Teamsters Local 1-L and threatening to shut down the plant in response to unionization. AFL's employees overcame this illegal campaign of intimidation and voted to join the union in August 2010.
Since then, AFL has dragged its feet during negotiations and recently presented a Final Offer with no guarantee of a wage increase and declared impasse. In response, Local One-L filed additional Unfair Labor Practice charges against the company on April 6th, 2012, for breaking the law by refusing to bargain in good faith. The NLRB is currently investigation these charges.
The NLRB is not the only federal agency to cite AFL Web Printing for illegal activity. On July 18, 2011 the Occupational Health and Safety Administration announced that AFL was being fined $170,000 for safety violations that willfully "put its workers at risk of serious injury and possible death."
Other Westbury subsidiaries have a record of irresponsible activity that could harm workers and consumers, such as Fresh Food Concepts, a manufacturer of salsa and other dips with a history of recent nationwide product recalls of food potentially tainted with dangerous bacteria.
"Our investigation into Westbury and its portfolio companies has revealed numerous violations of federal labor, health and safety regulations", said Patrick LoPresti, President of Teamsters Local 1-L. "It's clear that Westbury and its portfolio companies are bad for bad for workers, bad for consumers and bad for the Small Business Administration."
For more information visit AFLWebExposed.org.
Teamsters Local One-L
Hundreds of union members and their allies will protest outside the regional headquarters of the US Small Business Administration to demand that the federal agency cease investing in Westbury Partners, a private investment fund which owns AFL Web Printing, a company with a troubling history of illegal conduct, including health, safety and labor law violations.
|Tuesday May 29, 2012 at 12:00PM Eastern Time (US & Canada)
|Small Business Administration Regional Offices
26 Federal Plaza
Broadway between Duane St and Worth St
New York, New York 10278
Visuals: large inflatable pig; hundreds of protesters with printed public messages.