Arbitration Agreed to in Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council Labor Dispute
Lawsuits were filed by the Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council (HAMTC) alleging collective bargaining agreement violations concerning the firing of four employees by Washington River Protection Solutions. The employees pleaded guilty to timecard fraud, admitting they had added hours to their timecards they had not actually worked, but HAMTC alleged that the firings violated the “just cause” provisions of the collective bargaining agreements.
The lawsuit has been dismissed with prejudice, meaning it cannot be re-filed, with the news that the two sides have agreed to arbitrate the dispute. A spokesperson for HAMTC announced that arbitrating the dispute was their only goal, and so they are satisfied with the result. Washington River Protection Solutions has not issued any statement.
In its lawsuit, HAMTC had asked the court to either order Washington River Protection Solutions to hire back the illegally terminated employees with back pay or to order it to submit the dispute to arbitration under the collective bargaining language both entities signed off on in 2009. Despite the admitted guilt of the employees, the HAMTC alleges that proper procedures were not followed in the terminations and thus, they must defend the agreement despite the nature of the incident.