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At B&H, We’re Negotiating in Good Faith With Our Workers

Ari Paul’s attack on B&H, a company built over the last 40 years on its stellar reputation for honesty and integrity, was completely misleading and based on so much bad information it’s difficult to know where to start. He and the Forward should have done a little more work before slandering our company. He quotes Jeremiah and Leviticus, but perhaps he should have considered the statement of the Talmud (Shevuoth 31 based on Exodus 23:7) that a judge should not listen to the words of one litigant without the other being present. At the very least he could have called B&H and offered the opportunity to comment before rushing to publish.

At B&H, we value each and every one of our employees, as they are the people who ensure we are able to consistently provide our customers with the best experience possible. We expect our employees to be dedicated to ensuring our customers’ satisfaction, and we as a company are fully committed to ensuring our employees are happy and satisfied.

The group whose claims Paul touts, the Laundry Workers Center, does not represent the workers at B&H and any claim otherwise is false. In fact, this dispute seems to involve rival groups jockeying for position against each other and not B&H.

The article claims that “the company is now stalling in sitting down to settle a collective bargaining agreement.” Nothing could be further from the truth. B&H has not missed a single scheduled negotiation session with the Union, and all sessions have been jointly scheduled in the presence of the union bargaining committee which consists of approximately a dozen workers. These negotiations continue to move ahead with further sessions scheduled.

Please, do not be fooled. Here are the facts:

  • The United Steelworkers Union represents our workers;

  • B&H is in ongoing good faith negotiations with the United Steelworkers Union as to the terms of a contract.

  • Currently, we are awaiting further proposals from the Steelworkers, but we have already bargained in good faith as to the proposals presented to date and have reached a tentative agreement on the majority of such proposals.

  • The inaccurate information you have received is being distributed by the Laundry Workers Center, not the Steelworkers.

  • There is good reason why the Steelworkers are not part of this “protest” – because they understand B&H has complied and continues to comply with applicable laws; and The Landry Workers Center has its own motivations that seem to stem from internal disputes and are trying to leverage these false claims to gain legitimacy.

At no point was any employee terminated as an act of retaliation, such claims are outright fabrications with no basis in reality. In the seven months since the warehouse employees voted to unionize, only a handful of warehouse employees from a company of close to 2000 were terminated, and all for valid documented reasons.

In fact, the United Steel Workers Union was aware of any terminations beforehand and did not object, recognizing our right to continue to operate our business. In one of these situations, attorneys for the laundry workers – presumably over the objections of the steelworkers – filed a charge with the NLRB challenging the termination. This charge was withdrawn presumably because the NLRB planned to dismiss it. The Laundry Workers conveniently fail to mention this.

In no way at all were these an act of retaliation.

As to another of the alleged terminations, it simply has not happened. He has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation. In fact, the details of a resolution of this issue were already being discussed directly with the Steelworkers Union, prior to the Laundry Workers demonstration. We urge you to seek the truth from the steelworkers.

The Laundry Workers Center should be ashamed of its misleading claims, and should look to solve its internal issues without making false claims about B&H.

Finally, the author’s attempt to link these ongoing good faith negotiations to corruption crimes committed by other Orthodox Jews with absolutely no connection to B&H is libelous and slander by association.

We thank all of our customers for their continued support, and thank our employees for their hard work and dedication to ensuring B&H’s continued success.

Henry Posner
B & H
Director of Corporate Communications

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