SUMMARY: Classe, an independent contractor, the only employee and owner of a handyman company was forced to stop making repairs at the Galleria Shopping Mall and leave the mall by the mall operation manager since he did not belong to a union. The manager stated the mall is a "union mall".
Classe, working as an independent contractor through a service company maintains the expulsion was fraudulent. The work agreement was between the service company/Classe and the retail store. Classe contends the mall manager did not have the right to dismiss him and should be compensated for lost work and be returned to work.
THE INCIDENT: Classe was repairing ceramic tile that was broken on an entrance column at Helzberg Diamonds located in the Galleria Mall (mall) when approached by a mall security officer (security) who asked if Classe had registered with security in the management office.
He directed Classe to the office and the receptionist inquired as to his company name, which is Classe Designs, LLC and the company service company that assigned Classe the work, First Service Networks (FSN); a national service provider. She found FSN insurance registration had lapsed by two days. Classe gave her the FSN dispatchers name, Ashley, and telephone number, (866) 912-1376, to confirm his presence and insurance status. Ashley had left her desk and the receptionist told Classe to stand by that she would call him if there was any difficulty. At this time Classe returned to complete the repairs.
Shortly Classe while working was confronted by security again and asked if he belonged to a union and replied he did not. He (security) told him to stop work and leave the mall. The Helzberg manager confronted him and he told her she did not have a say in the matter. He said Classe could accompany him to talk to the mall manager and Classe did.
Arriving at management's office the second time Classe was confronted by David Rhodes, Senior Operation Manager, GGP. Mr. Rhodes asked if Classe was a union member and Classe informed him that he was not.
Classe informed Mr. Rhodes he was the owner and only employee of Classe Designs, an independent contractor.
Mr. Rhodes said the mall was an all union mall and only union members could work there. He instructed Classe to leave the mall accompanied by security. Classe returned to Helzberg , picked up his tools and left the mall accompanied by security.
CONCLUSION: Union shops are illegal in the United States. Independent contractors are truck drivers, retail merchants, medical professional or craft persons that do not fall under an employee status leaving the question that there are many people working at the mall that do not belong to a union. Independent contractors are not entitled to join a union . Mr. Rhodes statement as to "all union mall" is not true. The security company,
IPC International Corporation is none union.
This gives the impression Mr. Rhodes is attempting to build a security force realm under the guise of a union for the purpose of reaping personal benefits.
Classe was singled out for some clandestine reason. As a proprietorship handyman business owner and craftsperson sole owner the matter of union membership is an oxymoron.
The mall management should be investigated for wrong doing with the results published.
Compensation for loss wages and damages should be awarded.
In calling Jim Wright, President, Kirkwood-DesPeres Chamber of Commerce and reviewing the situation informed me this might be an eligible act by David Rhodes unless some kind of contractual agreement was not made in writing. Also an illegal contract is not recognized.
Jim tried calling David Rhodes but was not available to and his call not returned.
Classe called Kulon Green, Team Leader, FSN and relayed the above to him. Kulon was to contact corporate FSN to be insured a contract agreement to use union labor was not done. His not returning my call will indicate there is no stipulation in a contract for mandatory unionization. And there was no return call.
Kulon tried calling David Rhodes but he was not available and has not returned his cal to date.
A letter was sent dated July 10, 2012, to Michael Ferreria, President & Dir.,
First Service Networks, 11333 N. Scottsdale Rd., Suite 260, Scottsdale, AR 85260. Asking for help to go back to work and a copy of the incident report. Again, no return call suggesting there is no union membership requirement.
- Emailed Bill McClellan, Post-Dispatch, for help. No answer to date.
- Emailed Virginia Young, forwarded to "ecrisp@post-dispatch", Ms. Young out of the office.
- Emailed Senator Luann Ridgeway, R-Smithville, 816-532-8888.
- Revised to add IPC International Corp., security services.
- Revised to publish on Facebook
- Ann Taylor, #1168, CANCELLED SR #1-732959903, no additional work has followed.
- Helzberg, since incident no work has followed.
- Emailed Macys and Restoration Hardware through their Galleria web site the incident.
- Received a reply from Rebecca Rieke, Mgr. She informed me Macys is non-union and hires non-union employees and said, "they should not have done that to you".
This occurred Friday, May 11, 2012, about 3:30 PM at the St. Louis Galleria Mall, St. Louis, MO 63117, while performing minor handyman ceramic tile repairs and was witnessed by Helzberg Diamonds store management and the mall security personnel.
GGP; General Growth Properties, www.ggp.com. Owner of Plaza Frontenac, St. Louis Galleria and others.
Upon arriving at Helzberg for tool pick-up Classe found Cynthia Crawford, Manager & Latonya Shields, Manager, talking to Brittany, FSN, over the telephone.