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SF Plumbers Leader Accuses IUOE39 Jerry Kalmar Of Using Members As "Scabs"
Source labornet@labornet.org
Date 08/03/03/12:48

United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry
Local Union No. 38
1621 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94103

February 13,2008

Dear Brother and Sister:

Some weeks you received a letter from Jerry Kalmar, the Business Manager of Stationary Engineers informing you of a labor dispute between Local Union 38 of the United Association of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry and the Parc 55 Hotel. This letter is malicious and full of untruths. It defames me personally and maligns our Union. To understand the nature of this dispute I would like to review with you the underlying facts in this matter.

This dispute arose between Local Union 38 and the Hotel when the Hotel undertook to remodel 1,030 bathrooms including the removal and replacement of new water closets (toilets). It has been for many years, the historical, consistent and undisputed practice in San Francisco, that whenever a San Francisco Hotel contemplates such a project they put the job out to bid to Union Contractors, parties to the U.A. Local 38 Collective Bargaining Agreement. The awarded contractor then becomes contractually obligated to pay the wages and fringes and provide the working conditions in the U.A. Local 38 collective Bargaining Agreement. This past practice, has over the years, established the “Area Standards” for performing this type of remodel work in San Francisco Hotels.

Parc 55 Hotel however, chose in this instant case not to follow this well established practice of San Francisco Hotels. It instead sought to have the work performed at significantly lower wages, fringes and working conditions. In this it needed a willing partner. Jerry Kalmar provided the partnership. He knowingly and intentionally agreed to have his members perform the work at substandard conditions that had been a long established and historical practice by San Francisco Hotels.

All of us who have been in the labor movement for some years are well aware of the practice of those ruthless employers who are determined to ignore prevailing standards and instead pay substandared wages and fringes for the work in question to approach a union---frequently a weak one---and propose to give them the involved work at lesser wages and fringes. The employer then contends that there is a jurisdictional dispute between the unions and files a charge with the National Labor Relations Board requesting that the Board obtain an injunction prohibiting any type of economic action on the part of the bona fide union. This is precisely what occurred in the instant case. Jerry Kalmar was quite willing to cooperate with the Parc 55 Hotel in instructing his member to perform this work in order to curry favor with the employer. He was quite willing to have his members act as “scabs” in breaking down the well established wages and conditions of Local 38’s members.

In a discussion, which I had with a Representative of Parc 55 Hotel, he readily admitted to me, in an unguarded moment, that he engaged in the actions of using Stationary Engineers purely for “economic reasons” i.e., to have the work performed at substantially lower wage rates and fringe benefits. For a person such as Jerry Kalmar who calls himself a representative of working people to engage in such “sleazy” conspiracy with Parc 55 is reprehensible.

In his letter to you, Brother Kalmar states that “Members of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Stationary Engineers, Local 39 have historically maintained the physical plants and facilities at hotels and buildings throughout San Francisco and surrounding areas. Among other duties Stationary Engineers replace plumbing fixtures such as faucets, water valves in shower an toilets.” This is of course true--- they do so on a sporadic and irregular basis. But this is not what is occurring at Parc 55 Hotel. To the contrary, the Parc 55 Hotel has undertaken a complete remodeling of 1,030 barthrooms including the removal and replacements of new water closets (toilets). Plumbers build bathrooms, plumbers remodel the bathrooms—and they do so historically in San Francisco Hotels under the terms and conditions of the U.A. Local Union 38 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Brother Kalmar also complains that his Local Union has made application for membership in the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council and has been denied membership in the Council. This is also true. Stationary Engineers are maintenance employees; they are not construction workers. Local 39 is therefore ineligible for membership in the Building Trades and Construction Council.

Most important there is no jurisdictional dispute at Parc 55 Hotel. This is simply a case of a greedy and opportunistic employer---the Parc 55 Hotel---bamboozling (duping, persuading) an unprincipled union representative---Jerry Kalmar---into a scheme to enable an employer to circumvent the established prevailing wages and fringes for the work performed for the hotels in the San Francisco area.

Local Union 38 has no intention to permit this to happen. We intend to use every tool at our disposal to assure the fact that the established prevailing wages and fringes will be applied to the instant case. Moreover, that no other hotel can find their own Jerry Kalmar. I do not intend to get into a letter writing campaign with Jerry Kalmar, he chose to write to the labor community about me. This is the last word on this subject.

Sincerely,
Larry Mazzola, SR.
Bus.Mgr. & Fin.Secty-Treas

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