Cleveland Scores Victory for City, Workers in SuperTrapp Decision

Article excerpt

Cleveland will not take "no" for an answer--especially when it comes to the right of union workers to have a contract.

Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White announced that SuperTrapp Industries, a local manufacturing company in Cleveland, has agreed to comply with an order from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and negotiate with the union representing 250 SuperTrapp workers. AS a result of the company's decision, Mayor White and the city withdrew a threat to end a major tax break awarded to Dreison Industries (SuperTrapp's parent company) by the city in 1993.

White hailed SuperTrapp's decision as a victory for both the city and the workers.

"Today, everybody involved in this effort wins," the mayor said. "The employees of SuperTrapp who went through a multi-year campaign to unionize will now proceed to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement. The City will retain the company and jobs for Clevelanders, and SuperTrapp will continue to enjoy the financial benefits of the tax abatement granted by the City."

Earlier in September, the Cleveland City Council voted unanimously to suspend a 10-year, 75 percent tax abatement to Dreison if the company failed to comply with a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) order for SuperTrapp to negotiate a contract with the Union of Needle-trades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE!) that represents 250 workers at the plant. Mayor White gave the company 30 days to comply.

The city argued that Dreison's failure to abide by the NLRB order put the company in default of its obligations under the prior tax abatement agreement with the City of Cleveland. Most municipal tax abatement agreements require that companies receiving the subsidy comply with all federal, state and city laws, rules and regulations.

In 1993, the city approved a partial Wax abatement in support of a $6. …