Antitrust Suit Filed Against New York Local

Two telecommunications firms, U.S. Information Systems, Inc., and Odyssey Group, Inc., recently filed a federal suit in Manhattan alleging antitrust violations by Int’l Bhd. of Elec. Workers Local 3 and contractors that employ Local 3 workers.  The suit alleges that Local 3 and the contractors are conspiring to take over the market for installation of telecommunications wiring and systems in the N.Y. metropolitan area.

According to the complaint, the following actions by Local 3 are part of a concerted effort to exclude USIS and Odyssey from telecommunications installation work in the area: 1) threats of disruptions and delays in construction projects unless Local 3 electrical contractors also do the telecommunications work; 2) false statements about the plaintiffs and their businesses; and 3) jobsite intimidation, harassment and vandalism  Local 3’s tactics to extend their electrical installation monopoly into telecommunications allegedly include statements that buildings are “Local 3 only” buildings and threats that there will be labor unrest if Local 3 workers are not employed. USIS and Odyssey reportedly employ Communications Workers of Am. members. [King & Spalding, Media Release 7/6/00, N.Y. Times 7/6/00]