Cintas Alleges Extortion in New RICO Lawsuit Against Union Organizations
CINCINNATI, March 5, 2008 -
Cintas Corporation filed today a lawsuit under the federal and state Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations
Statutes (RICO) against the labor unions UNITE HERE, International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Change to Win,
alleging extortion related to the unionsï¿½ continued attacks that are part of a nationwide organizing drive that
is now entering its sixth year. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S District Court for the Southern District of New York,
and consolidates a related defamation lawsuit that Cintas filed in 2004 and which was proceeding in an Ohio state court.
Cintas alleges that, for the last five years, UNITE HERE and the other labor organizations have carried on a campaign of
negative, untrue and unlawful attacks against Cintas in an effort to extort concessions from the company that would enable UNITE
HERE and the Teamsters to become the official bargaining representatives for Cintas employees without those employees ever being
able to freely decide whether they want a union and if so, which union. The company has long maintained that such rights belong
to each individual employee, and has continually reiterated its commitments to protect its employeesï¿½ rights.
The RICO complaint further alleges that UNITE HEREï¿½s and the other labor organizationsï¿½ conduct is and continues to be, a campaign
of extortion which includes interference with Cintasï¿½s existing and prospective business relationships, deliberate attacks to
artificially depress the value of Cintasï¿½s stock, and other unlawful conduct.
The New York lawsuit also includes several claims against UNITE HERE for violation of Cintasï¿½s trademark rights, including improper
use of Cintasï¿½s trade name and trademark in various websites designed to further the unionsï¿½ extortion and reputation-destruction
The defamation claim details a 2004 news release issued by UNITE HERE ï¿½ which was intentionally made to appear to have been issued
by the U.S. government ï¿½ accusing the company of ï¿½widespread and majorï¿½ labor law violations. The union later acknowledged that
the NLRB played no role in the issuance of the press release.
Cintas Corporation provides highly specialized services to businesses of all types throughout North America . The company designs, manufactures, and implements corporate identity uniform programs, provides entrance mats, restroom supplies, promotional products, and first aid and safety products to over 500,000 businesses. Cintas is a publicly held company traded over the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol CTAS, and is a Nasdaq100 company and component of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. The company, which has achieved 34 consecutive years of growth in sales and earnings, to date, was named one of the top outsourcing services providers in Fortune Magazine's 2003 " America 's Most Admired Companies" survey.
An electronic version of the complaint and attachments is available on the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) website
which can be accessed by clicking on the following link: https://pacer.login.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl?court_id=00idx.
You may also email a request for a copy of the complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org.