NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. is appealing a recent proposed settlement by the National Labor Relations Board regarding striker misconduct at the company's Noblesville, Ind., air springs plant. Under the agreement-proposed by NLRB Region 25 in Indianapolis-the union agreed to refrain from:
Threatening supervisors, managers or employees with physical injury or property damage because they crossed a picket line;
Following non-striking workers from the picket line in a vehicle in a ``menacing manner'' and threatening them with physical injury or property damage by driving in an aggressive manner; and
Damaging the vehicles of non-striking workers; including placing jack rocks, nails or other sharp objects in plant entrances and parking lots.
The proposed settlement's non-admission clause falls short of delivering complete justice because it fails to recognize the Rubber Workers' past illegal picketing activities, a Bridgestone/Firestone spokesman said.
The tire maker claims that union workers on several occasions committed many of the above outlined illegal striker actions at the Noblesville factory plant between August and December 1994, noting two such incidents resulted in criminal convictions of union officials, including a jail sentence for one union leader. Some illegal picket line activity there occurred in 1995 and 1996 as well, including as recently as last month, the spokesman said.
``We are very pleased that the NLRB is prohibiting the union from committing any further acts of serious picket line misconduct and criminal activity against our plant in Noblesville and is requiring them to post this notice,'' he said.
``We are disappointed, however, that the settlement agreement proposed by the NLRB includes a non-admission clause . . . because the evidence is very clear that these acts did occur.''
A Rubber Workers spokesman said the NLRB's ruling is fair and that his union does not condone violence.
About 4,000 members of the United Rubber Workers struck Bridgestone/Firestone July 12, 1994. The company in January 1995 began hiring what amounted to 2,300 strikebreakers at the five locations.