SAN JOSE – A dolomite quarry in Salinas is suing various labor unions over allegations the unions went on strike in violation of their bargaining agreement.

Lhoist North America of Arizona Inc. filed a complaint on March 17 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division against International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Local Lodge No. 93; International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America, Local No. 890; et al., citing breach of contract.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff and the defendants entered into a bargaining agreement effective from March 2013 to December 2015 and it was later extended through Feb. 29 for employees at the Natividad Plant. The suit states that the plaintiff issued a tobacco/nicotine surcharge as part of its employer wellness program in January, with the option that employees who currently used tobacco could enroll in a cessation program to avoid the surcharge.

The suit states that the defendants filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board in February and March, alleging that the plaintiff violated the agreement because they did not bargain with the unions regarding the surcharge.

The defendants went on strike on March 15, the suit states. The plaintiff alleges this strike is unlawful because the bargaining agreement signed by all parties states that a strike is prohibited on account of any controversy regarding the terms of the agreement.

The plaintiff seeks all legal fees and any other relief as this court deems just and proper. It is represented by Conor J. Dale of Jackson Lewis PC in San Francisco and Dan Hartsfield of Jackson Lewis PC in Dallas.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division Case number 5:16-cv-01331-NC

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