In Fifth Decertification Vote, Alabama Workers Yet Again Say No To Union

2:15 PM 05/20/2015

Workers at an Alabama plant voted for a fifth time Tuesday to remove their union after the previous attempts were deemed invalid by federal labor board officials.

“Once again, employees at the Hamilton NTN-Bower plant have made it abundantly clear that they are not interested in the UAW’s so-called ‘representation,'” Patrick Semmens, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation (NRTW), told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The vote, which was tallied in the early afternoon, showed workers at the plant voted 74 to 52 to remove the United Auto Workers (UAW) from their workplace. 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. The union has lost four of the five elections so far. It is unclear if the union will file a rejection to the latest results.

“Unfortunately, it has already taken these workers five elections in less than two years to rid themselves of one stubborn union,” Semmens continued. “While we applaud Ginger Estes and her coworkers for standing up for their right to represent themselves, employees shouldn’t have to clear this many hurdles to remove an unwanted union.”

NRTW, which offers free legal assistance to workers struggling with their union, has been helping to represents Ginger Estes, the NTN-Bower employee who filed for the original decertification election to remove the UAW.

“It is our hope that the Obama NLRB will finally certify these results and not allow UAW bosses and lawyers to play more games to thwart the will of the employees at NTN-Bower,” Semmens concluded.

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.