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Old 05-19-2006, 09:50 AM   #354
spookyfish's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: On the margins.
Posts: 3,507
You Wanna Piece of Me?

Originally posted by andViolins
Now this is how to practice some mother f-ing labor law!!

Labor talks at Schwebel's result in claims of assault
Friday, May 19, 2006

Negotiations on a contract for Schwebel's Bakery workers turned testy last week when a partner from the management firm of Duvin Cahn & Hutton allegedly attacked a labor attorney from behind, choking and punching him until he brought the lawyer to the floor.

John Masters, representing bakery workers in Teamsters Local 336, charges Duvin lawyer Stephen Sferra "viciously and violently attacked" him as he tried to leave a meeting, according to charges filed Wednesday with the National Labor Relations Board.

The NLRB complaint says that Schwebel's representatives approved the assault by standing and watching the attack. Sferra, 44, continued to violently choke Masters until he was physically restrained by a Local 336 member, according to the account in the complaint.

Boston Heights police and an emergency medical squad were called to the scene. Masters, 48, was not hospitalized, but he says he has injuries to his neck, back and shoulder.

The outburst came at a May 9 bargaining session after Masters told Sferra he could not evaluate Schwebel's pension proposals without information that Masters said the company had refused to provide. In three other NLRB charges filed with the assault claim, the union says Schwebel's has withheld financial and actuarial data it needs to discuss issues raised in bargaining.

The two sides are negotiating a new contract for 139 members of Local 336 who make bakery goods at a Schwebel's plant in Cuyahoga Falls. The union has been working under a contract extension that expires at midnight Monday.

Sferra was in Chicago Thursday and could not be reached for comment.

In an exchange of letters Wednesday, Bob Duvin apologized to Masters for Sferra's "unprofessional and unacceptable part in this experience. It is also my opinion that your provocation was extraordinarily and stunningly unprofessional."

Duvin added that he was saddened by Masters' "apparent uncontrollable rage" at Duvin and his firm.

Duvin would not say in a telephone interview what the provocation was. He stoutly defended Sferra.

"Steve Sferra, who, standing on his toes, is maybe 5-7, 5-7 and 150 pounds, is both a lawyer and a man," Duvin said. "Lawyers ought to resist [provocation], but sometimes a man can't."

Masters said only that he hoped Sferra "receives whatever treatment he needs to control what in my opinion is a significant anger problem."

In a letter to Duvin, he dismissed the management attorney's description of events as "fictitious and self-serving."

He also said it was a mystery why Duvin should think he harbored ill will. "I can't even remember the last time you won a case against me," he wrote.

A bargaining session set for today is to be joined by a federal mediator.

My first reaction here is why didn't the "chokee" grab the choker's nutsack and start squeezing and digging his fingernails in?

My second reaction is to wonder if the federal mediator doubles as a wrestling referee?

My third reaction is to think there's probably some merit to having labor disputes resolved by cage match.
Some people say I need anger management. I say fuck them.
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