Machinists’ Union Sues DynCorp Over Termination of Union President

The following is an article that was published in “The Washington Business Journal”

Machinists’ union sues DynCorp over termination of union president

The machinists’ union at Joint Base Andrews in Prince George’s County is suing DynCorp International Inc., claiming the company violated a bargaining agreement when it fired a union president.

The lawsuit from the chapter of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers claims the McLean company did not have just cause for firing Gregg French, lead mechanic for the 1st Helicopter Squadron at Andrews and president of the union group representing workers at the base. The suit also claims the company violated its collective bargaining agreement when it refused to participate in an arbitration process to review the termination.

According to the complaint, filed Dec. 22 in the U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, DynCorp claims that French’s termination is immune from review under the grievances and arbitration process because the Air Force requested his removal — a claim the union disputes.

According to the complaint, which suggests strained relations between the union and DynCorp, an initial draft of the termination letter pointed to “misconduct that brought discredit to the company” tied to French’s behavior with other employees. According to the collective bargaining agreement, that reason would necessitate arbitration to prove just cause, the lawsuit says. But DynCorp changed the explanation in the final version of the letter, according to the union, pointing to a request for termination by the customer, according to the suit.

“We truly value our relationship with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers chapter at Joint Base Andrews,” said a spokeswoman from DynCorp, adding that the company cannot comment directly on ongoing litigation.

The union is asking the court to order the company to participate in the arbitration process regarding French’s termination and to award attorneys’ fees and costs to the union.