On Friday, August 19, workers who were fired from Tito Contractors for launching an organizing campaign in 2013 rallied at the company’s Washington, DC headquarters demanding that management deliver back wages and return to the bargaining table to negotiate the collective bargaining agreement that their workers are owed.
It was in 2013 when employees of Tito Contractors began meeting with IUPAT District Council 51 with the hopes of forming a union to combat abusive and unjust working conditions. Together with IUPAT District Council 51 and Jobs with Justice, the workers began an organizing campaign.
While under oath before the National Labor Relations Board later that year, Tito workers testified that supervisors threatened them with deportation, loss of equipment, and termination – oftentimes using their immigration status to frighten and humiliate them.
The majority immigrant workforce of Tito Contractors successfully voted for union representation with IUPAT District Council 51 the following year. Additionally, the workers won a case before the National Labor Relations Board and successfully won a lawsuit against Tito Contractors.
Despite losing two separate cases and their employees voting to unionize, Tito Contractors has successfully stalled for nearly two years. Many of the employees who were illegally fired and retaliated against were ordered by the National Labor Relations Board to be reinstated and to be paid for the back wages they were owed. Tito Contractors have explored every possible avenue available to them in order to avoid paying back the workers and to disrupt the union organizing process.
The rally on Friday was led by fired Tito worker Maria Raquel Sanchez along with community and labor activists. More are planned if Tito Contractors continues to delay in giving their workers the union agreement and wages they successfully fought for.