ALBANY, Ga. (June 3)—Hourly employees at Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.´s Albany radial tire plant will vote June 7-8 on the potential unionization of the work force.
The United Steelworkers union is attempting to organize workers at the facility, which Cooper has operated as a non-union factory since 1991. There should be about 1,000 employees directly affected by the vote, said USW Organizer Lugertha Sharpley, who is leading the union's effort in Albany.
Eligible workers can vote via secret ballot on either day from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. or 5 to 9 p.m. at the Bull Pen Room at the Cooper facility, she said.
The areas in which the union is trying to help the workers make improvements include wages, safety and working conditions, sick leave, insurance premiums and retirement, Sharpley said. The employees once had a defined retirement benefit plan that the company dropped, and recently had their insurance premiums increased dramatically, she said.
Cooper wouldn´t comment about the details of the organization attempt, but Patricia J. Brown, the company´s vice president of global branding and communications, said the Findlay, Ohio-based tire maker doesn´t believe a union is in the best interests of the plant, the employees or the Albany community.