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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Lawsuit Update

Dear Clients:

I am now advised that payments will commence on or about October 8.
Please check your notices for the tax treatment of your payments:

* NY EMPLOYEES 7/18/11 - 11/10/18 OR CA EMPLOYEES 7/18/14 - 11/10/18:
25% of your payments are considered back wages and normal payroll taxes will be deducted. The other 75% will be considered non wage income and no deductions will be taken.

* ALL OTHER HANDLERS 5/22/14 - 11/10/18:
50% of your payments are considered back wages and normal payroll taxes will be deducted. The other 50% will be considered non wage income and no deductions will be taken.

Please be reminded that I cannot offer any tax advice. Provide your accountant with the notices you were provided with, or have him/her review the final settlement agreement in the Court file.
Regards,

Dave Aboulafia

Friday, August 9, 2019

Lawsuit Update

LAWSUIT UPDATE

The settlement has been approved by the judge.  We're hoping that within 60 days, the first payment will be issued. Our lawyers will be monitoring all and as things progress, I’ll keep you updated. 

Bill Beaury

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Lawsuit Update

Dear Clients:

On August 8, the District Court will have a final hearing to approve the settlement in this case. The last time I checked, there was not one objection to the settlement by any class member.

After this hearing, I anticipate that the Court will formally approve the settlement with a written Order. While I cannot predict when the Judge will do this, he is known for acting quickly in this regard. Technically, 30 days thereafter, payments to all class members should commence. All class members will receive 4 equal, separate payments over a three year period. We have only been able to give you a general formula for how the payments will be calculated.

A company by the name of Rust Consulting will be administering these payments. Amanda Myette (amyette@rustconsulting.com) is our main contact person there. Paul Aloe and I will be available for the duration to handle any issues that may arise.

It has been my privilege to serve you in this matter.

Regards,

Dave Aboulafia

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Memorial Day

Dear fellow handlers, 

On Monday May 27th, we pause as a nation to honor and remember the heroic men and women who served bravely to protect our freedom and lost their lives in service to our country. We are all eternally in their debt for the sacrifice they've made.

Negotiations have begun to move forward with MSA. Earlier this month, we spent several hours with MSA's representatives and attorneys discussing proposals to improve working conditions for the handlers. The proposals included $35 an hour for all handlers, the reinstatement of the expense stipend with an eventual increase to $1000 a month, and guaranteed shelter and breaks for EDC teams at every post. We are fighting hard to make management realize that you are the face of MSA, you are the ones keeping MSA's contracts alive, and you are the ones keeping them in business!

In addition, we've been getting reports across the countries of field supervisors inventing new policies and rules and disciplining handlers for violating them. When your MSA supervisors invent mysterious unwritten rules, always ask where it is written, when it was enacted, and who enacted it? Then call us! These imaginary rules and policies do nothing but demoralize the men and women who work so proudly next to their EDCs and the only way to stop it is to hold those doing it accountable.

In closing, I would like to extend my appreciation to each and every MSA employee who has served or currently served in the United States Armed Forces. God bless you and God bless America.

Bill Beaury and your Union team.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Service Contract Act Payments

Good evening,

Over the next few days, many of you will be receiving a letter from the Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division's Enforcement Bureau. These letters will inform you how much is owed to you by MSA Security for failure to properly compensate handlers who have worked on Federal Government contracts covered by the Service Contract Act.

The investigation was initiated by our Union Secretary, Tom Brown, after first bringing it to the attention of MSA's executives. You can read more about that here.

The Department of Labor has obtained the full amount owed to the handlers and the funds are on deposit with the U.S. Treasury. To obtain the funds owed to you, you must fill out the WH-60 form and follow the instructions included in the envelope. If you have any questions, contact us at info@nopaymsa.com.


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Letter from an Anonymous Handler

Below is a comment left by an anonymous handler on a recent post. 
We thought it appropriate to share.

"Toxic leadership is a combination of self-centered attitudes, motivations and behaviors that have adverse effects on subordinates, the organization and mission performance. The leader lacks concern for others and the climate of the organization which leads to short and long term negative effects. The toxic leader operates with an inflated sense of self-worth and from acute self-interest. Toxic leaders use dysfunctional behaviors to deceive, intimidate, coerce or unfairly punish others to get what they want for themselves". Forbes Magazine

The above quote is taken from an article written about the U.S. Army, but it captures exactly what has happened at MSA Security and the kind of leadership we have been subjected to as employees. If I have to read one more time that MSA can't discuss it's canine policies because it is a matter of national security, I think I'll vomit. They discuss the policies when it suits them, when they are sitting on a sound stage with Megyn Kelly, but they go radio silent when confronted with a simple question about Mattie. We all know that the decision to send Mattie to Texas was vindictive and an attempt to hurt Seamus and his family more. What kind of treacherous person working at MSA makes that call? Glen? I would think it has to be Glen and he makes all the decisions now, no matter how cruel and destructive they may be. What happened to those great leaders we had from law enforcement? They sit on their hands while a CEO with no law enforcement/military/security experience runs roughshod over us. It really is sickening, but it gives us a clear picture of what happens in the executive suite at 9 Murray, and shows what a dim view they have of us. I don't think I would be going out on a limb by saying the owners of MSA Security, PWP are very smart people - highly educated, but are they completely blind to the reality that is MSA Security now? Doesn't one owner ever think how bad the optics are on taking Mattie away from a combat veteran and his family, telling him to shut-up and maybe he'd get her back and then twisting the knife by sending the dog to Texas? Let's not kid ourselves, the only reason Mattie was shipped off to Texas was to punish Seamus because he stood up for himself and his family and he believed that MSA was capable of doing the right thing. After a few tours downrange with bad guys shooting at him, it was not likely that Seamus could be bullied by Mike and Glen, but they tried their best. I think at one point they even told him to "get control of your wife". Very sad. Why wouldn't PWP call Glen and Mike and all the executives and directors at MSA and ask a very simple question "What the hell is going on"? "How did we get to this point"? That is what a company that cared about it's employees would do. Perhaps PWP only cares about money - and as long as MSA brings money in, they have no regard for the employees, the dogs and the once great reputation MSA enjoyed.

Glen and Mike you had a chance with Mattie to be generous, kind and magnanimous. You should have allowed Mattie to retire. It would have sent a message to all of us that it was time to heal, time to move forward, time to work together in the best interests of MSA Security. Instead you took this as an opportunity to be petty, harsh, cruel and vindictive. Your ego and arrogance, your contempt for us was never more obvious. You lost the Union fight, you lost in court so you decided to use Seamus as an example, to show us just how tough you are, but you only demonstrated how weak you really are. Business as usual at MSA Security. We know the truth and now the public and our clients are beginning to know the truth and see MSA for what it really is. Let's see what happens May 1st, and if anyone from PWP has the courage to come down from their office and hear what we have to say. Bring Mattie Home. UNION - count me in!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Fight for Mattie

Tonight at 6pm, PIX channel 11 news will be airing an interview with the Fennessy family about their upcoming protest of MSA's newly adopted unwritten and unseen policy of separating senior dogs from dedicated handlers. The protest will be held on May 1st from 11am to 3pm outside Perella Weinberg's headquarters at 767 5th Avenue (the GM Building) in New York City. All handlers and family members are encouraged to attend.

Click here to live stream the broadcast.

Demonstrations against work policies are considered protected concerted activity under the National Labor Relations Act. We will file charges against MSA for anyone who believes they were targeted or retaliated against for attending.

We've also been asked to provide the complete letter that was written to Mike O'Neil by Seamus Fennessy that is quoted in the following article. It's a powerful letter that we believe expresses the frustration many MSA handlers experience.





Sunday, March 31, 2019

Lawsuit Update

This week, all parties signed an agreement to settle the lawsuit. Information concerning the individual amounts owed and dates of payment will be mailed to each handler in the near future.

In addition, handlers that were hired from April 6th to November 10th, 2018 will be mailed paperwork informing them of their addition to the New York class, the California class, or how to join the FLSA collective.


We'd also like to thank the several handlers that reached out to us and the city of New York about retaliation for using sick leave. The Department of Consumer Affairs is currently investigating the reports. We will post updates as we receive the information.

We've also recently begun discussions with the NYC Human Rights Council in regards to possible discrimination and harassment committed by MSA management. If you've ever felt harassed, intimidated, or discriminated against by anyone from MSA, please reach out to us ASAP at info@nopaymsa.com. All reports are confidential.

Monday, March 25, 2019

News From the Front

Weingarten Rights



In the landmark case NLRB v. J. Weingarten, Inc. 420 U.S. 251 (1975), the Supreme Court upheld a National Labor Relations Board decision that employees have a right to union representation at investigatory interviews. These rights have become known as the Weingarten Rights.

There are three rules to the Weingarten Rights.
  1. You must make a clear request for union representation before or during the interview. You cannot be punished for making this request.
  2. After the employee makes the request, the employer must choose from among three options:
    1. Grant the request and delay questioning until the union representative arrives and (prior to the interview continuing) the representative has a chance to consult privately with the employee;
    2. Deny the request and end the interview immediately; or
    3. Give the employee a clear choice between having the interview without representation, or ending the interview.
  3. If the employer denies the request for union representation, and continues to ask questions, it commits an unfair labor practice and the employee has a right to refuse to answer. The employer may not discipline the employee for such a refusal.
If any member of MSA's management team approaches you to discuss discipline, suspension, termination, or anything that could affect your personal working conditions, politely respond with the following statement and then contact us immediately:

If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative be present at this meeting. Until my representative arrives, I choose not to participate in this discussion.

If anyone from MSA management attempts to question or discipline you, email us at info@nopaymsa.com or call (888) 864-6601 before you answer any questions.


Lawsuit


The lawsuit is close to settlement. We are currently awaiting signatures from the named plaintiffs and defendants. The signatures are due on March 27th. Judge Gorenstein will then have to approve the settlement. We've also been hearing reports from handlers that members of MSA's management team have allegedly been making remarks that discourage being a party to the lawsuit. If any member of MSA's management attempts to discuss the lawsuit with you, record the conversation if possible, and contact us as soon as you can.

Sick Leave


We've initiated an investigation into MSA's sick leave policy with the City of New York, Department of Consumer Affairs. We have received several reports from handlers that supervisors allegedly required they come to work when they attempted to use sick time, that supervisors allegedly demanded notes from doctors detailing their illnesses, and that supervisors and managers have disciplined and suspended handlers for using or attempting to call in sick. This is all against the law. If you have ever experienced any of these situations or have ever had trouble calling in sick, please email us ASAP at info@nopaymsa.com. We are in current contact with an investigator from the City and can arrange to have them take a statement. All statements given to the investigator will be kept confidential.

Paid Family Leave


If you work in California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York, Washington State or Washington D.C., you are eligible for paid family leave benefits. You can use these benefits for a variety of reasons such as to care for a family member who is ill or to bond with a newborn child. Your benefits will vary by state. Feel free to select your state from the list below for detailed explanations. If you've attempted to use these benefits in the past and were denied or retaliated against by MSA, contact us for information.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Update

Lawsuit

On February 21st, MSA's attorneys filed a request for a settlement conference to discuss the following disagreements:

  • Whether individual defendants will bear responsibility for the settlement payments if the $14.5 million settlement is not paid in full.
  • The amount of any default penalty in the event payment is not made and a letter of credit Defendant MSA Security is posting is not honored.
  • Whether settlement funds will revert to the defendants if: (i) certain class or collective members yet to receive notice of the case decline to join the case; or (ii) plaintiffs fail to cash their settlement checks.

The individual defendants are Mike O'Neil, Glen Kucera, and George Harvey. The judge has scheduled conference for March 8th. A settlement agreement will now be due on March 18th.


Union

The first negotiation meeting between the UFK9H and MSA occurred on February 13th. MSA's lawyers were provided with a long list of what handlers all over the country have requested. They will be reviewing the list with their clients and will be in touch soon.

The National Labor Relations Board continues to investigate our charges against MSA which you can find here. They have also decided to dismiss the charges filed against us by MSA which you can find here.

The NLRB has also found merit to our charges that the implementation of the new Canine Home Care Policy and the reduction of the expense stipend were violations of the National Labor Relations Act. The NLRB is currently in the process of preparing an informal settlement agreement. We will continue to fight for the return of the $400 expense stipend, backpay for the months it was reduced, and the ability to negotiate the terms and conditions of the home care policy.

Service Contract Act


Many of you have received the following email from our new "Chief HR Officer" Peter Capizzi.

Dear Handler,

You recently received a notice from the MSA HR Department notifying you of the prevailing wage and fringe benefits associated with posts you work under the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA). Due primarily to your paystub not previously breaking out your total pay on SCA projects that you worked on, you will be shortly notified by the US Department of Labor that you will be receiving compensation for the breakout omission. Your SCA work is now broken out separately on your paystub.

As a rapidly growing international company, we always strive to meet all legal and regulatory requirements.  Therefore, when we found we had made administrative errors, we corrected them.  More importantly, we introduced longer-term solutions, such as EPAY and UltiPro, to make certain the errors are not made in the future.  Our commitment is to always act with integrity and continue to find ways to enhance our business for our clients and our employees.

Should you have any questions on this matter please feel free to send a note to HR@msasecurity.net.

Sincerely,
Peter Capizzi | Chief HR Officer

This is Mr. Capizzi's first communication with us and it seems like he's been fed some incorrect information. MSA did not correct an administrative error as soon as they had found it. MSA was first informed in July 2017 that there was a possibility they weren't in compliance with the Service Contract Act. They did nothing except respond with hostility. We filed a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor which then conducted an investigation of MSA. Now 160 handlers will be compensated nearly $250,000 in unpaid fringe benefits. Here is a link to our original post about the Service Contract Act in April of 2018.

As always, if you have any questions feel free to email us at nopaymsa@gmail.com or leave a comment on this post. Stay strong, stay united.