5/23/2014US Labor Department: Redflex Fired Americans, Hired Australians
US Department of Labor reverses prior decision and finds that Redflex fired American employees and moved jobs to Australia.
The US Department of Labor reversed itself on April 29 with a formal ruling that Redflex Traffic Systems fired three American employees so that it could outsource engineering functions to the firm's home country of Australia. After Randall Bass, Ngoc Nguyen and Bob Hervey were fired from their jobs in the company's Phoenix, Arizona office last May, they petitioned the Labor Department for help. Although the agency formally rejected the request in February, a petition to have the decision reviewed proved successful.
"Based on information collected from the subject firm during the reconsideration investigation, the department determines that the subject firm shifted to a foreign country the supply of services like or directly competitive with those provided by the workers of Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc., North American Division, Engineering Department, Phoenix, Arizona," Labor Department Certifying Officer Del Min Amy Chen concluded. "After careful review of the additional facts obtained on reconsideration, I determine that workers of Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc., North American Division, Engineering Department, Phoenix, Arizona, meet the worker group certification criteria."
Certification entitles any engineer fired between October 29, 2012 and April 29, 2016 to apply for federal handouts. Redflex contract workers and temps from Iconma, BPS Staffing, AZ Tech Finder and Volt Workforce Solution can also make a claim for Trade Adjustment Assistance. Affected employees are eligible for up to 130 weekly cash payments for participation in full-time training programs and up to $2500 in job search and relocation costs.
Bass, Nguyen and Hervey worked in the research and development division that specialized in developing systems specifically for US cities. Faced with mounting losses, Redflex shuttered the office and gave the work to Australian employees in the firm's Melbourne headquarters. Two other US engineers kept their jobs but were transferred to do other work elsewhere in the company. The three engineers told the Labor that it had made a mistake in denying their original request for aid.
"It wasn't really a question of additional evidence," a Labor Department spokesman explained. "It was more so a matter of scope. Essentially, the initial investigation encompassed the firm as a whole, rather than the subgroup of workers on whose behalf the petition was intended."