Law bars union votes at Fuyao for next year

11:11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 10, 2017 Business
Fuyao Glass America operates in the former General Motors Moraine Assembly Plant. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

No union can attempt to schedule a representation election at Fuyao Glass America for at least a year, based on federal law and a jurisdictional agreement overseen by the AFL-CIO, according to the Moraine-based president of the IUE-CWA.

Jim Clark, president of the IUE-CWA, spoke to this news outlet Friday, hours after Fuyao workers resoundingly voted against joining the United Auto Workers.

The vote margin against the UAW was essentially two to one. After a day and a half of voting, the final tally was 886 to 441, according to the National Labor Relations Board, which oversaw the election.

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Clark said representatives of his union had started to make inroads into the Moraine plant when UAW supporters showed up in 2016, handling out leaflets.

“We were there already,” Clark said. “We had a presence there when the UAW went to the AFL-CIO and they filed an article 21, asking for exclusive jurisdiction over the plant.”

Historically, the IUE-CWA has long had a presence at the West Stroop Road plant, representing thousands of workers there when it was a General Motors assembly operation.

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Clark said the UAW asked the AFL-CIO for three years to exclusively try to organize the Fuyao plant.

The AFL-CIO — a federation of unions of which both the UAW and the IUE-CWA are a part — gave the UAW just one year, Clark said.

And that year expired this week, he added. Meaning, according to federal law, no union representation election can be held at the Fuyao plant until next November at the earliest, he said.

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“They turned the clock off,” Clark said of the UAW. “It definitely limits the people.”

Asked if the IUE-CWA will try to organize Fuyao, Clark said he and his fellow union leaders will assess the situation.

While workers clearly rejected the UAW, he thinks the vote didn’t necessarily reject all unions. And many Fuyao workers are former IUE members, he said.

He said the IUE wants two things at Fuyao: A profitable company and a good relationship with workers.

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“I think the IUE could be a partner to get there,” he said. “Everything could happen.”

Messages seeking comment were sent to Fuyao and the UAW.

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