MACON, Ga. — A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) hearing officer is recommending certification of a recent employee vote to unionize Kuhmo Tire USA Inc.'s tire plant in Macon.
According to the United Steelworkers (USW) union, a Nov. 10 report by an NLRB hearing officer recommended overruling company objections and certifying the results of an August election that saw workers at the plant support unionization by the narrowest of margins.
The matter now goes to a NLRB regional director for consideration, the union said.
Kumho declined comment.
The USW, in revealing the hearing officer's moves, called for the company to begin negotiations on a contract.
The union and company have been locked in what has become a years-long battle regarding workers organizing at the Macon facility.
The USW claimed victory this summer when contested ballots from a Sept. 2019 vote were opened. Union backers had a 141-137 lead heading into consideration of 13 contested ballots.
The NLRB ultimately determined that 11 of those ballots should be counted, and organizers eked out an apparent 145-144 victory for USW representation.
Kumho Tire opened the $450 Macon plant — its only North American factory — in 2016, eight years after breaking ground on it initially before having to suspend work on it later that same year. The plant is rated at 4 million passenger and light truck tires a year.