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The Right of Bricklayers in California to Organize is Upheld

International Union BAC
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On March 29, a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) judge ruled that J. Ginger Masonry, one of the larger masonry contractors in the Western United States, illegally fired workers because they wanted to organize with the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC).

Five bricklayers were fired in November 2021 for meeting with Representatives of BAC Local 4 and arranging another meeting where eleven more workers signed union authorization cards. During the hearing, the company tried to argue that the reason the workers were fired was because of a violent altercation with a supervisor. However, an office employee video showed that it was the supervisor who initiated physical contact with one of the fired workers.

NLRB Administrative Law Judge Gerald Etchingham ruled that the workers be reinstated immediately and compensated for any lost pay or damages because of the unlawful firing. 

“Justice prevailed in this case,” said International Union President Tim Driscoll. “Workers have the right to meet with and join a labor union. This ruling should send a message to J. Ginger and other unscrupulous employers that threating workers’ rights to a collective voice will not be tolerated.”

Over the past 2 years BAC local unions across the West have been helping the craftworkers at J. Ginger address unsafe work conditions, bad treatment, and low pay.  These craftworkers know the surest way to address these concerns is through the collective power and unified voice that a union brings to the jobsite.

“This is a key victory for our J. Ginger campaign,” BAC Local 4 President Lupe Aldaco emphasized. “Too often companies fire workers to deter union organizing and to scare workers. This ruling will show others that there are legal protections, including back-pay, when that happens. J. Ginger should think twice about whether they want to continue this unlawful activity moving forward.”  

In April of last year 122 employees of J Ginger Masonry in Northern California sought and won an election to be represented by BAC Local 3.  The struggle for a first contract there continues, as BAC and the bricklayers of J Ginger continue their fight for fair treatment of craftworkers.

Click here to read the full decision. 

Article originally published by the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers.