Alabama workers reject UAW

Employees at the Johnson Controls plant in Cottondale voted nearly two to one against unionizing under the United Auto Workers, an official with the National Labor Relations Board said Tuesday. According to Douglas Marshall, resident officer for the Birmingham office of the NLRB, 471 of the plant’s more than 500 workers cast ballots in the election, which was conducted late Friday. The final tally showed 299 employees voting against the union and 161 voted in favor of unionizing. One vote was challenged and one vote was voided.

Representatives of the UAW could not be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for Johnson Controls confirmed the election results but declined to comment further.

Marshall said the union has until Monday to challenge the outcome of the election.

“If they don’t file objections within seven calendar days, the results will be certified,” Marshall said.

Johnson Controls’ Cottondale facility manufactures seats and headliners for the sport utility vehicles produced at the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International plant in Vance.

Unions have had mixed success when it comes to winning over Alabama auto plants.

UAW unionized Mercedes supplier ZF industries in 2000, it but tried unsuccessfully to unionize the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International plant in Vance in 1999 and 2000. The union continues to operate an organizing office in Vance.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Engineers attempted to unionize the Vance plant in March 2006. The effort failed, but the NLRB ruled that Mercedes officials illegally monitored the conversations of employees known to be pro-union. Mercedes denied the charge.

A vote by employees of Mercedes supplier Ai3 on whether to unionize under UAW has been on hold since December 2006, when the union filed a lengthy complaint against the company alleging unfair labor practices. Marshall said the case is ongoing.

Dara Longgrear, executive director of the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority, said he would prefer area plants remain nonunionized and instead use open communication between management and workers to resolve issues.

Longgrear said most plants have such communication policies, but he respected the right of workers for them to decide the union issue for themselves.

“Given the facts, it’s in the employees’ interest to remain union free, but ultimately it’s the employee’s decision,” Longgrear said.


No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails