MACON, Ga. — Workers at the Kumho Tire Georgia Inc. plant in Macon have rejected plans to unionize, but the United Steelworkers (USW) union has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to challenge those results.
The election, held Oct. 12-13, failed 164-136, USW Organizing Director Maria Somma said in an email.
The USW filed unfair labor practice charges in addition to objections to the election with the NLRB on Oct. 17, according to Ms. Somma, who said the agency will investigate these claims, but for which no timetable has been outlined.
"The employer broke the law and intimidated many workers with threats of job loss and plant closures," she said. "They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on anti-union consultants who spent hours every day performing psychological warfare on the workers."
Also on Oct. 17, the USW confirmed that Kumho terminated the employment of Mario Smith, an act Ms. Somma said was illegal, adding that Mr. Smith was one of the USW's main advocates.
"We will do whatever is necessary to protect the workers who are attempting to act on their legal right to form a union at their workplace," she said.
Kumho officials did not respond to requests for comment but did launch what it branded a union facts website — www.kumhounionfacts.com. According to the website, the company denies paying supervisors and team leaders a bonus of $2,000 to fight the union and claims that Kumho Tire Georgia has lost $20 million so far in 2017.
The website has since been shut down.