The Not-So-Fond Farewell: UAW Finally Leaves Alabama Workers Alone
After workers in Alabama voted four out of five separate times to decertify the Autoworkers, sources confirmed Wednesday that the union will not try to disqualify the latest vote.
“We are happy to report that the UAW has finally taken the hint and will not be challenging the results of a fifth union decertification election at the Hamilton NTN-Bower plant,” Patrick Semmens, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation (NRTW), said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“It shouldn’t take employees five votes over two years to get rid of an unwanted union. Unfortunately, independent-minded workers are up against a biased legal system that insulates union officials from the very employees they claim to represent,” he continued. “However, we applaud Ginger Estes and her NTN-Bower coworkers for beating the odds to get rid of the UAW and assert their workplace rights.”
The vote, which was tallied in the early afternoon on May 19, showed workers at the plant voted 74 to 52 to remove the United Auto Workers (UAW) from their workplace. Estes, the NTN-Bower employee who filed for the original decertification election, confirmed to TheDCNF that the union will not file a complaint to dismiss the last vote.
In March, the UAW lost in an 82 to 50 vote, but like the previous three decertification elections, an objection was filed disputing the results. In total, the union has lost four of the five elections so far. The fourth vote was deemed invalid after the union alleged management threatened employees prior to the vote.
“Management threatened plant closure in the event the Union won the election,” the UAW noted in its objection, which was obtained by TheDCNF. “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 said.
Prior to that the union was accused of manipulating the only vote it had won. At the time NRTW alleged the union stuffed the ballot so it could win.
“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.”
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.
The UAW did not respond to a request for comment from TheDCNF.
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