General Dynamics Information Technology agreed to a settlement with workers in its former Alexandria, Virginia, facility May 29, 2018, to vacate union election results that were tainted by the company’s anti-union activities.
“We feel vindicated by this settlement. We knew what management at GDIT was doing was wrong, and we didn’t believe we got a fair election. We’re happy the board found merit to our charges and that GDIT has agreed to stop spreading misinformation to its workers,” said Sabrina Batts-Hopson, a customer service professional at the Alexandria facility.
“General Dynamics Information Technology has settled this matter. It concerned an expired government contract at a facility General Dynamics IT no longer operates. As a result, we decided it did not make sense to continue litigating this matter and have now successfully resolved it,” a GDIT spokesperson told Federal Times.
Under the settlement, GDIT will be required to send a notice to all affected employees, pledging not to threaten employees with loss of benefits if they join a union, not to tell employees that the company will lose its government contract if they join a union, not to withhold working condition improvements in exchange for rejecting union representation, not to adopt a rule that prevents employees from persuading their fellows to join a union and not to continue telling employees that it would take an “act of Congress” for them to get higher pay.
The “act of Congress” pay comments have long been a source of controversy for GDIT, as they suggest that, under the Service Contract Act, which establishes the wages a contractor with the federal government can pay its employees, GDIT has no control over any potential pay increases for employees.
However, complaints filed with the Department of Labor from call centers run by GDIT allege that the company misclassifies employees at lower classifications than their actual job duties merit so that the company can avoid paying higher wages.
In total, workers have come forward with wage theft complaints at nine call centers operated by GDIT, and have captured the attention of Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., who said that they were “disturbed” and “startled” by the allegations in a letter to the GDIT CEO Phebe Novakovic.
“We take very seriously any allegations of unfair labor practices. At General Dynamics IT we treat our employees with dignity and respect, fostering an inclusive culture where everyone contributes and is engaged in delivering mission-critical work,” the spokesperson said.
Jessie Bur covered the federal workforce and the changes most likely to impact government employees for Federal Times.