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Smithtown company settles death-threat complaint

A portion of the posting at Matrix Group.

A portion of the posting at Matrix Group. Credit: Portion of posting required by NLRB

Federal labor regulators made Matrix Realty Group, a Smithtown real estate investment company, post an unusual notice at one of its office complexes.

In the notice, Matrix says, "We will not threaten to kill you or to cause you bodily harm because you engage in activities" in support of a labor union.

The office complex is in Danbury, Conn.

Glen Nelson, owner of Matrix, says a union member misconstrued something he said about how his new, less-expensive cleaning contractor, was "killing" the union price-wise. (Matrix saves $1.3 million a year at the Connecticut building without the union, Nelson says.)

Nelson said he agreed to post the National Labor Relations Board notice to avoid a costly legal battle.

Suffolk police said an officer took a report in January in connection with a Dec. 21 dispute. The police report does not mention any kind of crime, but instead notes a "disturbance" related to a prior business dealing, a police spokeswoman said. There is nothing in the police report about a death threat; and after the report was filed no further police action was taken, the spokeswoman said.

The NLRB posting requirement came after the Manhattan-based union filed a Feb. 17 claim saying that Nelson's company violated the National Labor Relations Act.

"On or about Dec. 21, 2009, the above employers, by their agent Glen Nelson, violated the Act by threatening to shoot and kill Arthur Tiscia” — an SEIU member — “and have him arrested for engaging in union activity."

Nelson on Tuesday sent out a prepared statement saying he “settled without admitting any wrongdoing and categorically denies that he made any of the alleged statements.”

The statement continues, “The case was settled in an effort to avoid a long and costly legal battle over he-said-she-said nonsense.

“Mr. Nelson maintains that the individuals who filed the claim misunderstood his comment that ‘the current contractor isn't going anywhere because he is doing a better job and because he is killing you on pricing — to the tune of $1.3 million per year.’”

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