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BATON ROUGE – A national labor union for roofers and its pension fund is suing Gonzales-based Ascension Sheet Metal, alleging its owners formed another company to avoid being bound by a collective bargaining agreement.

The National Roofers Union and Employers Joint Health and Welfare Fund and the National Roofing Industry Pension Fund filed a lawsuit Jan. 7. in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana against JR I-Con LLC, JRE LLC and its wholly owned limited liability corporation, Ascension Sheet Metal LLC, doing business as Ascension Sheet Metal Roofing & Sheet Metal, alleging breach of a labor agreement and for collection of delinquent contributions.

According to the complaint, Ascension’s president, Rebecca Evans, entered the company into a year-to-year collective bargaining agreement beginning in January 2010. The contract required monthly contributions and reports sent to the fund for all foremen, journeymen and apprentices.

However, the suit says that by September 2013, the plaintiff had filed a complaint for delinquent contributions. In addition, the complaint asserts the defendants formed subsidiaries JR I-Con and JRE as a way to avoid paying the union contributions.

The plaintiffs seek reimbursement for the delinquent contributions from 2013 to the present, plus 12 percent interest, a 10 percent Employee Retirement Income Security Act penalty and litigation costs. They are represented by attorneys Julie Richard-Spencer and Paula M. Bruner of Robein, Urann, Spencer, Picard & Cangemi APLC of Metairie.

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana Case number 3:16-CV-00011

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