INDIANAPOLIS-Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. engaged in unfair labor practices during the company's 19-month dispute with its rubber workers, the National Labor Relations Board alleged in formal complaints given to the tire maker Jan. 31. Roberto Chavarry, director of NLRB Region 25 in Indianapolis,charged Bridgestone/Firestone with eight counts of violating the National Labor Relations Act.
Among the violations expressed to Bridgestone/Firestone were:
Illegally discharging strikers by falsely stating they had been permanently replaced;
Discharging strikers for lawful picket line conduct;
Refusing to reinstate striking employees after the union made an unconditional offer to return to work;
Eliminating sickness and accident benefits for workers who were union members and did not join the strike;
Requiring workers to provide proof of ``good health'' to re-enroll in the firm's medical, dental insurance plans;
Implementing only a portion of its proposal for performance-based pay;
Refusing to provide pension credit to workers who had not been reinstated and had applied for retirement; and
Failing to produce information needed by the union to perform its duties as employee representative.
Mr. Chavarry announced Nov. 21, 1995, that he was converting the Rubber Workers' 10-month walkout at Bridgestone/Firestone tire plants from an economic action to an unfair labor practice strike.
Bridgestone/Firestone plans to appeal the decision before an administrative law judge, the Nashville-based company said.
No date for the hearing has been set yet.
Should the administrative law judge rule against Bridgestone/Firestone, the firm can petition the NLRB in Washington, the U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.
The charges-if upheld-require the firm to rehire about 900 workers who still await recall after striking in 1994, and offer them back pay.