The National Labor Relations Board Region 5 has issued a complaint against General Dynamics Information Technology Inc., for violating federal labor law at its Alexandria, Va., facility last year.
The roughly 80 GDIT employees worked on a contract to provide call center services for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., and in 2016 began to organize for representation by the Communications Workers of America. These workers take customer calls and provide information to people whose pensions have been taken over by the PBGC, often due to an employer’s bankruptcy filing.
"I'm happy that GDIT is finally being taken to task for breaking the law," said Sabrina Batta-Hopson, who works at the call center. "I hope this labor board complaint will prevent the company from spreading more misinformation to other workers. I also hope that the DOL complaint helps me and my coworkers get the pay that we deserve for the hard work we've done for GDIT."
GDIT management threatened employees that if they voted for CWA representation, they would lose benefits and the company would lose the contract. Management also falsely told employees that they could not get a raise “without an act of Congress.”
A hearing is scheduled for May 22, 2018.
“These federally contracted workers are entitled to the protections of our labor laws. GDIT not only abuses workers’ rights, but is also the focus of serious complaints about wage theft and other abuses, and may owe its employees over $100 million in back wages” said Alex van Schaick, an attorney at CWA.“
The NLRB action follows a series of complaints filed by CWA with the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division, calling for an investigation into the systemic and serious wage violations being committed at GDIT call centers.
GDIT currently employs about 10,000 workers at 11 call centers under its contract with CMS. These jobs are covered by the Service Contract Act (SCA), a federal law that sets prevailing wage standards for federally contracted service work. But CWA has uncovered an extensive pattern of misclassification of workers under the SCA to avoid paying workers the wages they deserve.
CWA estimates that tens of thousands of current and former GDIT employees at CMS call centers stand to recover more than $100 million in back wages since the contract with CMS was signed in 2013. Such a sum would be the largest SCA recovery in history.