UE Wins Organizing Election at Phamaceutical Plant

May 27, 2008

Workers at a Chicago-area pharmaceutical factory here voted more than two-to-one for UE as their bargaining representative in a National Labor Relations Board election conducted over two days, May 22 and 23.
 
The victory came at the unorganized Ferro Pfanstiehl plant in Waukegan. The vote was 25-12. It was the second attempt at unionization at the factory, where workers narrowly rejected UE representation two years ago.
 
In the latest campaign the company again brought in a union buster to conduct captive meetings and, at the last minute, flew in its CEO to make a personal appeal against the union. The company also forced workers to watch a professionally-made anti-union video that depicted UE as tainted and inept. But these tactics proved ineffective against a UE organizing committee composed of Ferro workers who had experienced similar deceptions in the earlier organizing attempt.
 
UE International Representative Mark Meinster, who advised the committee and worked on both campaigns, said a clear majority signed a "Vote Yes" petition prior to the election, and that the experience of the organizing committee leadership made the difference in holding people together in the face of the company onslaught.
 
The Ferro win was the second Labor Board election victory in the Chicago area in the past two weeks. On May 14, workers at Merkle Korff, a factory producing sub-fractional motors, voted 41-32 for UE. Together, the wins bring nearly 120 new manufacturing workers into UE's ranks in Illinois.

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