The California Court of Appeals has upheld a 2012 Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) decision that the City of Long Beach illegally furloughed its employees in 2009.
PERB is the agency that enforces the collective bargaining law (Meyers-Milias-Brown Act or MMBA) that applies to local governments.
On May 5, 2009, the Long Beach City Council passed a resolution authorizing the city to furlough IAM-represented employees while the city and the union were in the process of bargaining cost-saving measures that could have avoided furloughs. Under the MMBA, an employer cannot furlough employees until it has bargained with the union to impasse.
The IAM filed an Unfair Practice Charge stating the City of Long Beach failed to bargain in good faith; a charge that was upheld by a PERB judge. The city has appealed and lost at every step and is now required to make all affected employees whole for any and all loss of wages and benefits resulting from the city’s violation of the MMBA.
“This has been a long, uphill battle, but we’ve proven once again to live up to our Fighting Machinists mantra,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary Allen.
Allen also congratulated Long Beach City Employees Local 1930 President Dan Gonzalez, the entire MOU team and District 947 for the historic victory. The IAM has been the only labor organization to successfully take on a public agency for furloughing its employees in California.
“We have been denied justice long enough,” said Local 1930 President Dan Gonzalez. “It’s high time for the City of Long Beach to finally do right by the men and women who work tirelessly to make this city run.”