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Workplace dispute pits Upper Marlboro firm against workers

A commercial cleaning company headquartered not far from Rockville must reinstate workers who have been on strike for nearly a year and a half and award them back pay, a federal panel recently ruled.

That's the order an administrative law judge recently entered against Daycon Products, which is headquartered in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. The workplace dispute began when Daycon and the Teamsters Local 639, which represented many of its workers, failed to come to an agreement regarding the terms of a new contract. Because a new contract agreement had not been reached by April 2010, 55 Daycon workers went on strike. Although a few did cross the picket line and return to work, most refused to resume their job duties without an agreement in place.

What followed was a protracted dispute that continued even after the workers offered in July 2010 to return to work. In part because Daycon refused to accept that offer, the National Labor Relations Board affirmed the administrative law judge's ruling last week. The president of the Teamsters Local 639 said Daycon now owes the workers a total of $1 million in damages, plus interest that is compounded every day Daycon does not cut a check.

Obviously, most disputes that arise in the workplace are not quite this dramatic. But that does not mean they are not important. In the course of business, certain situations like contract disputes, employee discrimination claims and regulatory issues are almost certain to arise. A company can be absolutely fastidious about how it conducts itself and circumstances like these may occur nonetheless. That is why many businesspeople form relationships with business and corporate law attorneys. Knowing that they have qualified, competent legal counsel just a phone call away gives many businesspeople a sense of peace of mind - and of course, that can be very valuable in the otherwise-hectic world of business.

Source: The Maryland Gazette, "Prince George's firm Daycon loses another round with labor board," Lindsey Robbins, Sept. 30, 2011

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