Fifth Vote Set on Union at Hamilton, Ala. Plant
HAMILTON, Ala. (Press Release) — The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has scheduled a fifth union decertification election at a local NTN-Bower plant after a hearing officer found merit to United Auto Worker (UAW) lawyers’ objections to a February vote against the union’s presence.
This will mark the fifth time in less than two years employees at the facility have voted on removing the union.
The UAW Local 1990 union is currently the exclusive bargaining agent for 140 employees at NTN-Bower’s Hamilton plant. Ginger Estes, who is receiving free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, first requested an election with the NLRB in 2013 along with many of her coworkers to remove the UAW from their workplace.
Although a majority of workers voted against the UAW in the first election, union and company officials agreed to set aside the results and allow the employees to vote a second time. In the second election, workers decided to remove the union by a margin of two votes. UAW officials promptly challenged the results, and an NLRB panel voted to invalidate the outcome and schedule a third election.
On January 16, 2015, workers voted a third time to determine whether to remove the UAW. The union narrowly avoided another loss, but the results were tainted by obvious ballot stuffing. Despite the fact that only 140 employees at the facility were eligible to vote, 148 ballots were cast.
Estes formally challenged the results with the help of Foundation staff attorneys, and the NLRB quickly agreed to schedule a fourth vote. On February 20, NTN-Bower employees voted 82-50 to eject the UAW from their workplace. Despite losing the election by a wide margin, UAW lawyers convinced an NLRB hearing officer to set aside the results yet again and hold another vote.
The new election is scheduled for May 19, 2015.
“It shouldn’t take five votes to get rid of a union that has clearly overstayed its welcome,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “The NLRB has stacked the deck against workers seeking to remove unwanted unions, allowing union officials to throw out results that don’t go their way and hold onto power.”
“Ginger Estes’ saga highlights an ugly double standard in federal labor law,” continued Mix. “While the activist Obama NLRB makes it easier to organize workplaces by enacting new ‘ambush election’ rules to get unions certified, union lawyers are allowed to game the system by blocking or overturning workers’ votes against unwanted unions.”
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in nearly 200 cases nationwide. Its web address is www.nrtw.org.
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