Union Prevails in Fracas Over Unpaid Leave Time

     RICHMOND, Va. (CN) – A security firm providing its services to the Norfolk Naval Ship Yard and other government facilities must pay its unionized guards $81,625 in accrued sick and vacation time, a federal judge ruled.
     The plaintiffs, members of the Security, Police & Fire Professionals of America, Local No. 452, worked at the shipyard, the Lafayette River Complex and the Craney Island Fuel Terminal in Virginia until their contract with the federal government ended on January 17, 2013.
     In a complaint filed in the Norfolk, Va. Federal Court, they claim they then requested payment for their accrued sick and vacation time pursuant their collective bargaining agreement, by the defendant Southeastern Protective Services Inc., failed to make the required payments.
     The union members then turned to the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, but were refused assistance by the agency because the defendant was no longer a federal contractors.
     They then turn to the court. Despite being served with a copy of the summons and complaint on June 18, 2014, Southeastern Protective Services never filed an answer, pleading or letter in response, U.S. District Judge Mark Davis wrote in his opinion.
     On January 18, 2015, the union members moved for a default judgment of $81,625, supported by an affidavit attesting to the amounts owed each one.
     In granting that motion, Judge Davis held that the union members had through their pleadings successfully established that they were owed sick and vacation leave pay under the collective bargaining agreement, and that the defendant had failed to pay it.
     “In response to such failure, the Local Union attempted to use the grievance and arbitration machinery pursuant to express provisions in the CBA … yet Defendant refused to participate in arbitration, and has generally been unresponsive to Plaintiffs’ subsequent efforts to collect under the CMA, to include failing to appear in this case,” Davis wrote.
     “Accordingly, this Court has before it sufficient uncontroverted facts to support the entry of default judgment in favor of Plaintiffs as to liability,” he said.
     Based on the evidence, Davis said the workers are collectively entitled to $66,339 in accrued sick pay and $15,286 in accrued vacation pay.
     Representatives of the parties could not immediately be reached for comment for this story.

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