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Supply Chain News: UAW Losing Streak Continues Losing Steak, as Workers in Dayton Soundly Reject Union at Fuyao Glass Plant

 

After Recent Failures in South, UAW Now Loses Vote in Rust Belt State

Nov. 13, 2017
SCDigest Editorial Staff

It continues to be tough sledding for the United Autoworkers Union (UAW) to unionized foreign transplant firms in the US.

There have be several prominent failures in recent years from UAW unionization campaigns at OEM assembly plants in the South, noticeably a loss at a Mississippi Nissan factory this past August. And even more famously was the UAW defeat at the Volkswagen in Chattanooga in 2014, even when plant management seemed to support the campaign to organize workers.

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The UAW had hoped to stem a decades long-decline in membership, down to about 416,000 members nationally today, well under a height of about 1.5 million in 1979

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Now another loss, at an automotive parts manufacturer instead of an OEM, and outside of the South in Dayton, OH.

Chinese windshield manufacturer Fuyao Glass opened manufacturing in Dayton in 2016, taking up a portion of the mammoth former GM truck assembly plant in the Dayton suburb of Moraine, made famous from the HBO documentary "The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant."

Despite the new scenario, the story for the UAW's efforts to unionize the plant remained the same.

Workers there defeated the union's more than 18-month attempt to organize in a fight that drew the international spotlight.

The final tally was 886 to 441, according to the National Labor Relations Board, which oversaw the election.

There were 1,608 eligible voters at Fuyao. The NLRB election process gives the UAW a week to challenge the outcome of the election, but that seems unlikely given the margin of the defeat.

"We are pleased that (Fuyao) associates chose to maintain a direct relationship with our company and resist the union's attempt to intervene," Fuyao President Jeff Daochuan Liu said in a statement. "While we respect our employees' right to support or reject a union, we also admire their courage to reject this union's desperate attempt to prop up its revenue in the face of declining union membership worldwide.

"We look forward to continuing to work closely with (Fuyao) associates to build a great company here in Moraine and to our success in the auto glass marketplace," Liu added.


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"It is disheartening to know that in 2017 there are companies willing to do so much to deny workers a voice and fair treatment," Rich Rankin, director UAW Region 2B said in a statement.

"Unfortunately, that is what these brave workers faced when all they have asked for is a fair path to helping this manufacturer produce the best products and live up to their commitments it made to the Dayton community."

Fuyao factory worker Jeremy Grant, a UAW supporter, said he was surprised by the approximately 2-to-1 margain against the union, according to an article in the Dayton Daily News.

"It was fairly shocking," Grant added. "We were really confident."

The UAW had hoped to stem a decades long-decline in membership, down to about 416,000 members nationally today, well under a height of about 1.5 million in 1979.

Joe Allen, a historian and writer on labor issues, said in an interview before results were announced that a UAW loss in Moraine could be seen as "devastating" for the union, again according to the Dayton Daily News

"When the UAW can't organize an auto parts plant in Ohio, then what does the future hold for an auto union?" Allen said.

What do you think of this latest UAW defeat? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.

 

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