HAMILTON, Ala. -- The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has made the right call by issuing complaints against precision ball bearing manufacturer NTN-Bower Corp. for violating U.S. labor law and denying workers their protected rights to engage in union activity, said UAW Region 8 Director Gary Casteel.
More than 225 members of UAW Local 1990 have been treated unfairly and illegally by NTN-Bower since July 23, when workers agreed to return to their jobs after being forced into a year-long work stoppage. The complaints stem from how the company treated former strikers who wanted to return to work.
"These workers have faced threats and intimidation simply because they have exercised their rights," Casteel said.
The NLRB has alleged that NTN-Bower has refused to bargain in good faith; tried to enforce unfair work rules; refused to reinstate workers after the strike ended; threatened workers who formed, joined and assisted the union, and tried to coerce workers to sign away their protected rights to due process.
"This is an unjustified attack against hard-working men and women who want to go to work every day so they can feed their families and support their community," Casteel said. "These workers deserve better. Our community deserves better. We will continue to seek a full measure of justice for violations of law by this employer."
Also, said Casteel, the union has asked the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to investigate complaints that NTN-Bower is subjecting its employees to an unsafe and hazardous work conditions.
"Our members at NTN-Bower have some very serious health and safety concerns," said Casteel. "But instead of working together to solve the problem, the company slammed the door and refused to allow OSHA to complete an investigation that could help remedy the situation."
A hearing on the complaint issued against NTN Bower by the NLRB has been scheduled for Feb. 9 before an administrative law judge.
"Our union stands 100 percent behind NTN-Bower workers in their fight for a safe workplace and fairness on the job," Casteel said.