NEW YORK, N.Y.—A Queens man illegally fired for trying to form a union at his job has won $30,000 from the company. In a
settlement with the National Labor Relations Board recently announced, the Long Island-based company Shred-It agreed to pay the sum to Erwin Espinoza, 39, who it dumped in April for advocating that his fellow workers join Teamsters Local 813.
“We were having meetings every Saturday, about 15 of us, maybe a few more, at a diner far away from the shop to talk about joining the union,” Espinoza told the Daily News. “But somehow management always heard about what was said.” The company accused him of falsifying time cards after he recorded meetings with managers and supervisors he described as “the classic union-busting stuff…. They said people would be ‘hurt’ if we joined a union because wages would go up and that would mean fewer jobs.” Shred-It, which destroys documents and medical waste, will also have to display posters informing workers that they have the right to organize in “prominent places,” and expunge disciplinary warnings against union supporter Jose Carrion. Local 813 head Sean Campbell said the union would continue its organizing campaign.