USWA Ends Asheboro Unionisation Plans
The USWA has halted plans to unionise Goodyear’s Asheboro, North Carolina plant. So far there is no information about when the activity at the plant stopped or when the union will be allowed to mount a new campaign. According to information provided by the National Right to Work Foundation (NRWF), “Under the terms of the settlement, USWA union officials may not use the ‘card check’ unionisation schemes in any future organisation attempts at the Asheboro Goodyear facility.”
In a statement Goodyear North America communications manager, Amy Brei stated that the company has cooperated fully with the National Labour Relations Board (NLRB) and will continue to do so. She said charges in the complaint centred around whether a neutral arbitrator properly accounted for employees who revoked written union authorisation cards they had previously signed. “Goodyear did not ‘ignore’ the revocations; they were presented to the neutral arbitrator for his consideration. Goodyear associates have been – and always will be – free to choose whether or not they want union representation.”
Speaking to local newspaper the Asheboro Courier, USWA area representative Brad Smoyer stated a desire to continue the organising drive, adding that the USWA will assist workers in that effort. He said officials found no evidence of coercion by the USWA or Goodyear during the 2004 union drive.
The NRWF was clearly pleased with the result: “This victory is a step towards holding union officials across the country to account for trampling workers’ rights under abusive ‘card check’ schemes,” said Foundation vice president Stefan Gleason in a press release. “While encouraging, it’s an outrage that Goodyear struck a backroom deal with USWA officials in the first place to deny these workers the freedom to decide their own representation through the less abusive secret ballot election process.” cja