NYC union protests business headquartered downtown

Published 12:05 am Saturday, April 11, 2015

Members of a New York City workers union spent hours camped out in downtown Salisbury Friday protesting a local business.

Members of the Transport Workers Union Local 100 set up barricades surrounding Global Contact Services, located near the intersection of Innes and Main streets in downtown Salisbury. The group, which represents New York City workers in transportation-related fields, rented the city’s trolleys, covering them with banners and handed out flyers. The flyers included a Bible verse from Matthew 6:24.

The flyer read “You cannot serve God and money.” It alleged 720 employees have been fired from Global Contact Services and further alleged the company was moving jobs overseas.

A self-described union organizer, Dylan Valle alleged that Global Contact Services fired hundreds of workers and hired others at a lesser wage in New York City.

“Where better to start our campaign than in the company’s hometown, when these guys are known as good, decent guys when they’re not,” Valle said.

Global Contact Services operates New York City’s Paratransit Call Center — responsible for providing disabled residents with transportation. The service is shared-ride, door-to-door or feeder service.

Valle alleged Gl0bal Contact Services, in other locations, has outsourced work, but said no work has been moved from the New York City location. Outsourcing is, however, a future concern, Valle said.

Global Contact Services Chief Executive Officer Greg Alcorn, when contacted via phone, wouldn’t comment specifically about the union’s allegations, other than to describe his business’ operations.

“We help with placing contact center work domestically and provide staffing on location,” Alcorn said.

Alcorn provided a written statement in an email that stated: “Although we did not ask for the attention in Salisbury today, we want to recognize our loyal and devoted associates who continue to provide outstanding customer service to users of New York City’s Access-A-Ride program. From our locations in North Carolina, West Virginia and New York, we continually provide a productive, nurturing and positive environment for all associates. During the demonstration, it was erroneously mentioned that GCS owns centers in foreign countries and is sending jobs off-shore. GCS, headquartered in Salisbury, does not own or operate call centers in any foreign country.”

As an aside, during the phone interview, Alcorn said, the protesters may have confused his company with one that’s located in Florida and goes by a similar name.

Alcorn cited pending litigation as a reason he wasn’t able to comment further on allegations.

The National Labor Relations Board has a number of cases open that include Global Contact Services as the charged party. Only one of the cases — from 2013 — lists a Salisbury address for Global Contact Services. It’s one of two cases that’s been closed by the National Labor Relations Board. In the case, charges against Global Contact Services were dismissed. The dismissed case alleged that Global Contact Services refused to hire an employee because of “protected concerted activities” the employee engages in while employed by another company. The dismissal letter lists Greg Alcorn as on of its recipients. A case from November 2014 was also dismissed by the National Labor Relations Board.

All other cases are open. All cases, including both dismissed cases, list Long Island, N.Y. as the location of the suit.

The latest case on file with the National Labor Relations Board is dated April 2, 2015. It alleges Global Contact Services violated the Labor Relations Act by engaging in repudiation or modification of contracts.