NOBLESVILLE, Ind.-Workers at Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.'s Noblesville air springs plant filed an application June 7 to decertify the union as its bargaining agent. Meanwhile, according to the United Rubber Workers, the National Labor Relations Board is preparing to issue formal complaints against the tire maker for:
Unlawfully firing strikers for alleged acts of misconduct during the walkout;
Cutting sickness and accident benefits of union members on long-term disability before the July 12 walkout; and
Making an unlawful unilateral change that, in effect, required strikers whose health insurance coverage had lapsed to show proof of good health before being recalled.
``Any one of these issues could be sufficient to convert (the dispute) to an unfair labor practices strike,'' said Carolyn Wonders, URW assistant general counsel.
If the NLRB rules the manufacturer used unfair labor practices, the approximately 2,100 union workers awaiting recall could soon return to their jobs and the labor board could dismiss the Noblesville decertification petition.
CGT's Ohio plant fetes certification
BRYAN, Ohio-Continental General Tire celebrated the ISO 9001 certification of its Bryan off-the-road tire plant June 14 with a celebration at the facility.
The Bryan plant is the world's first OTR facility to achieve the international standard for quality and is the first U.S. tire plant to be certified to ISO 9001 standards, CGT said.
The tire maker commemorated the event with a presentation, a catered picnic lunch for the plant's three shifts and a special prize drawing.
Union members authorize strike
KITCHENER, Ontario-United Rubber Workers at Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Co.'s Kitchener plant authorized their officers June 13 to set a strike date if contract talks aren't fruitful.
About 98 percent of Local 677 voted in favor of the authorization to set the walkout date after 16 meetings with the firm failed to yield a pact, said Local President John Cunningham.
The local has been working under its old contract since it expired May 31. The company has made only one contract offer and it doesn't satisfy the membership.
Mr. Cunningham said a major stumbling block is that the local wants 12-hour shifts and the Michelin North America subsidiary doesn't.