Robbins Geller Helps Secure Groundbreaking Multi-State Agreement for Union Community Coalition
On May 26, 2022, as reported in The New York Times, Jobs to Move America and the Alabama Coalition for Community Benefits announced a multi-state community benefits agreement with New Flyer of America Inc., the largest bus manufacturer, and leading manufacturer of electric buses in North America.
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP represents Jobs to Move America in connection with a lawsuit JMA brought against New Flyer in 2018 on behalf of the State of California and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“LA Metro”). McCracken, Stemerman & Holsberry LLP, a leading labor law firm, serves as co-lead counsel and General Counsel to JMA. JMA’s suit arose out of New Flyer’s $500 million bus-purchase contract with LA Metro. The contract contained a “U.S. Employment Plan” requiring that taxpayer funds used to pay for the buses also create good new jobs, which JMA alleged in the lawsuit were not reported on accurately. New Flyer disputed this allegation.
As part of the settlement agreement, New Flyer agreed to a multi-state community benefit agreement to create new workforce development programs, fair hiring programs, and equity measures in its facilities in Ontario, California and Anniston, Alabama. New Flyer also agreed to a $7 million settlement fund and enhanced reporting for any future contract with LA Metro that contains a U.S. Employment Plan. New Flyer does not admit any unlawful conduct or wrongdoing in connection with the settlement agreement.
Robbins Geller partner Rachel L. Jensen, who served as co-lead trial counsel for JMA in this case, commented on the settlement: “Hundreds of working families and communities across two states are going to see quality jobs and more opportunity as a result of this groundbreaking agreement. More widely, this case is an important marker for labor and manufacturing companies across the country that compete for public contracts – it shows that this isn’t a zero-sum game. When we invest in quality jobs, fairness and dignity, everyone wins big.”
The “community benefit agreement” provides:
- At least 45% of New Flyer’s new hires and 20% of its promotions at each facility to be individuals from groups who have historically had limited access to good jobs in American manufacturing, including and especially people of color, women, and veterans;
- New Flyer will partner with the Center for Military Recruitment, Assessment and Veterans Employment’s “Helmets to Hardhats” program to increase the number of veterans in the manufacturing workforce;
- The Coalition Partners will work with the company to create pre-apprenticeship training and enhanced technical training programs to prepare workers for employment with New Flyer;
- The Coalition Partners will also work with the company to institute a new system for addressing claims of harassment and discrimination that provides workers making a complaint an independent advocate; and
- The company will expand bilingual capacity in training and human resources materials, workplace communications, and outreach.
“If you knock on the majority of doors in our Firm, you’ll find lawyers who were raised in union and working-class families – families of transit workers, teachers, laborers, firefighters, electrical workers, police, and other public servants. So it was a privilege for us to stand once again with union leaders in securing more opportunity for working families,” said Darren J. Robbins, a partner at Robbins Geller.
About Robbins Geller
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP is one of the world’s leading complex litigation firms, representing plaintiffs in securities fraud, shareholder derivative, antitrust, corporate takeover, and consumer fraud and privacy cases. With 200 lawyers in 9 offices, Robbins Geller is one of the world’s largest plaintiffs’ firms and the Firm’s attorneys have obtained many of the largest securities, antitrust, and consumer class action recoveries in history.
The Firm represents many of the largest public and private pension funds in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe in precedent-setting cases to hold corporations accountable, including a U.S. Supreme Court case against Goldman Sachs and a high-profile corruption case in Ohio involving First Energy Corporation.
The Firm is ranked #1 on the 2021 ISS Securities Class Action Services Top 50 Report for recovering nearly $2 billion for investors last year alone – more than triple the amount recovered by any other plaintiffs’ firm. The Firm secured the largest-ever securities fraud class action settlement — $7.2 billion — in In re Enron Corp. Securities Litigation.
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