PITTSBURGH — A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) judge has ordered a new union vote at Kumho Tire Georgia Inc.'s tire factory in Macon, Ga., after determining that company officials violated workers' rights during the first election in October 2017.
The first vote resulted in a narrow loss for the workers, who were seeking to join the United Steelworkers (USW) union. Following that vote, the USW filed complaints with the NLRB accusing the company of illegal conduct in its effort to suppress the union.
In his ruling, Administrative Law Judge Arthur Amchan wrote that the company's illegal conduct was "pervasive" and that it warranted not only a new election, but the "extraordinary" remedy of requiring company officials to read a notice to all of its employees outlining the specific ways in which they violated the workers' rights.
Among violations cited by Mr. Amchan are interrogating employees illegally, threatening to fire union supporters, threatening plant closure and creating an impression of surveillance, among other threats to workers.
Kumho Tire did not reply immediately to Tire Business' requests for comment.
"This ruling is a major victory, not just for the brave Kumho Tire workers and not just for union members, but for all workers who want to improve their lives through organizing," said Daniel Flippo, director of the USW's District 9, which includes Georgia and six other southern states, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands. "The USW is committed to fighting for all workers' rights."