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Judge Orders New Union Vote at Kumho Tire Plant in Georgia

An administrative law judge ordered a new union vote at a Kumho Tire factory in Macon, Georgia, after finding that company officials violated workers’ rights during a vote to determine union representation from the United Steelworkers (USW) in October 2017.

The 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 National Labor Relations Board accusing the company of illegal conduct in its effort to suppress the union.In his ruling, Administrative Law Judge Arthur J. Amchan wrote that the company’s illegal conduct was “pervasive” and that it warranted a new election. In his ruling, Amchan also is requiring company officials to read a notice to all of its employees outlining specific ways the company will not interfere with workers’ voting decisions.

Amchan’s ruling also accuses Kumho of interrogating employees, threatening to fire union supporters, threatening plant closure and creating an impression of surveillance, among other threats to workers, according to a USW release. Kumho Tire USA did not immediately respond to questions regarding the ruling.

“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.”The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors.

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