Fifth Time’s a Charm? Alabama NTN-Bower Employees Vote to Remove Unwanted Union Again in Fifth Election in Two Years
The UAW lost three previous votes and the fourth was thrown out due to ballot stuffing, but union lawyers resorted to legal stalling tactics to delay union decertification
Hamilton, AL (May 20, 2015) – Employees at a local NTN-Bower plant voted yesterday 74-52 to remove the United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 1990 union from their workplace. This marks the fifth time in less than two years employees at the facility have voted on decertifying the union. The UAW has lost four out of the past five elections, and the only vote the union won was tainted by blatant ballot-stuffing.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) scheduled a fifth decertification election at the facility after a hearing officer found merit to UAW lawyers’ objections to the February 2015 vote against the union’s presence. Union officials now have one week to file objections with the NLRB contesting the most recent results.
Ginger Estes, who is receiving free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, first requested a decertification election in 2013 along with many of her coworkers.
Estes believes that the UAW has mistreated independent-minded employees. “We have endured their intimidation,” she said.
Although a majority of workers voted against the UAW in the first election, union and company officials agreed to set aside the results and allow the employees to vote a second time. In the second election, workers also voted to remove the union. UAW officials promptly challenged the results, and a divided NLRB panel voted 2-1 to invalidate the outcome and schedule a third election.
On January 16, 2015, workers voted a third time on removing the UAW. The union narrowly avoided another loss, but the results were tainted by obvious ballot-stuffing. Despite the fact that only 140 employees at the facility were eligible to vote, 148 ballots were cast. Estes formally challenged the results with the help of Foundation staff attorneys, and the NLRB quickly agreed to schedule a fourth vote. On February 20, NTN-Bower employees again voted to eject the UAW from their workplace by a wide margin. Shortly afterwards, UAW lawyers convinced the NLRB to set aside the results and hold yet another vote.
"Once again, employees at the Hamilton NTN-Bower plant have made it abundantly clear that they are not interested in the UAW's so-called 'representation',” said Patrick Semmens, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Unfortunately, it has already taken these workers five elections in less than two years to rid themselves of one stubborn union.”
“While we applaud Ginger Estes and her coworkers for standing up for their right to represent themselves, employees shouldn't have to clear this many hurdles to remove an unwanted union,” continued Semmens. “It is our hope that the Obama NLRB will finally certify these results and not allow UAW bosses and lawyers to play more games to thwart the will of the employees at NTN-Bower."