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2 labor disputes on Long Island end

Waldner's Business Environments, 125 Broadhollow Rd., Farmingdale.

Waldner's Business Environments, 125 Broadhollow Rd., Farmingdale. Credit: Google Maps

Two labor disputes on Long Island came to a close this week.

Former union delivery workers of Farmingdale-based Waldner’s Business Environments reached an agreement with the company, boosting severance pay and ending a dispute that began in July.

Separately, the union for workers at Alside Supply Center in Old Bethpage ended a strike, which began in April.

Waldner’s, an office furniture firm, closed its in-house distribution and installation business on July 5, turning to subcontractors for that work. Twenty full and part-time workers represented by Teamsters Local 814 were laid off, the company said.

The agreement, ratified Thursday, secured severance of “one week of pay per year of service,” said Jason Ide, president of Local 814. The settlement also ends union-led protests in the city and on Long Island.

“We’re glad this concluded with a mutually beneficial conclusion with Teamsters Local 814,” said Ryan Osborne, principal and chief operating officer of Waldner’s. The company also helped to place workers at other delivery companies, Osborne said, and others retired or went into other industries.

The company also agreed it would outsource its work to Teamster 814 employers, or to other companies offering comparable wages and benefits. “During this struggle, all this work was going to non-Teamster contractors that don’t offer anything near what we offer,” Ide said.

In July, unions called the closure a “lockout.” The company disputed that the layoffs constituted a lockout. The closure and layoffs followed the June 30 expiration of Waldner’s employment contract with Local 814.

At Alside, 16 members of Teamsters Local 807 went on strike, according to the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service, which tracks work stoppages including strikes and lockouts.

The strike, over proposed changes to health care coverage and the removal of a pension plan, ended after the workers found jobs at other companies employing Teamsters. Alex Moore, a spokesman for Teamsters Joint Council 16, said the strike was “unsuccessful.”

Union members had filed charges against Alside, an Ohio-based manufacturer of vinyl siding, windows and patio doors, with the National Labor Relations Board. The agency ruled against the workers, Moore said.

The company did not return calls requesting comment.

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