UAW Continues Fight, Even After Losing 3 Out Of 4 Elections

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The United Autoworkers (UAW) has filed an objection Friday after workers at NTN-Bower Corporation in Hamilton, Ala., voted in a fourth election to decertify them.

The UAW lost in an 82 to 50 vote at NTN-Bower that was supposed to decide their continued existence. Like the previous three votes though, an objection was filed to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) disputing results. It remains to be seen if the NLRB will call this election, like the last three, invalid. The union has lost 3 of the 4 elections so far.

In their objection, the union alleges that management threatened employees prior to the vote.

“Management threatened plant closure in the event the Union won the election,” the UAW notes in their objection, which was obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Employee agents of the Employer informed employees that the plant would close in the event the Union won the election.”

“Management informed employees that in the event the Union lost the election, employees would have increased wages,” the objection went onto say.

Ginger Estes, the employee who filed for the decertification election, told the TheDCNF that the UAW filed the objection Friday, the last day they could have filed. Estes admits she is not confident the NLRB will make an unbiased decision.

Earlier in the month, though the UAW won the third election, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTW), which represents Estes, alleged that the union manipulated the ballot in their favor. After they filed a complaint, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) agreed to allow a fourth vote.

“Even though 139 workers voted in the third election out of the 140 eligible, 148 ballots were cast,” NRTW claimed in a statement.

The NLRB found the second election invalid following an objection that the company acted unfairly. As the union complaint noted, “two days before the second election, Plant Manager Rufus McMillan held a series of captive audience meetings, which were attended by the entire workforce.”

“The credited testimony of multiple witnesses establishes that during these meetings, McMillan repeatedly told employees that Hamilton was the Employer’s only unionized facility, that employees at the plant had not received a raise in over a year, and that employees at the employer’s Macomb, Ill., facility made more money than they did,” the NLRB also noted. “The hearing officer found that McMillan’s comments constituted an implied promise of higher pay if employees decertified the Union.”

After the third election, Estes began leading some of her colleagues in rallies against the union.

The UAW has represented employees at the NTN-Bower plant since 1976. The decertification petition was filed with the NLRB on May 22, 2013.

TheDCNF was unable to reach the UAW for comment.

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