ASHEBORO, N.C. (June 17)—For the second time in 15 months, the majority of workers at Goodyear´s Asheboro tire cord plant have chosen the United Steelworkers as their bargaining representative.
In a secret ballot election conducted June 14-15, the workers voted 173-147 in favor of USW representation, the union said. The Winston-Salem office of the National Labor Relations Board conducted the election and is expected to announce the results officially in seven to 10 days.
In March 2004, the workers in Asheboro participated in a card check election validating the USW as the employees´ representative. However, in July, a small group of employees—with the legal aid of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation—filed unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB against Goodyear and the union for "jointly coercing a majority of the plant's workers to accept an unwanted union."
In August, the group of Goodyear employees also filed a petition with the NLRB for a decertification election in Asheboro. After discussions with the workers, the USW in January announced an agreement with the NLRB to suspend its representation with the hourly employees.
At that time, Brad Smoyer, a USW organizing representative involved with the Asheboro situation, said the setback was a "bump in the road," and that a secret-ballot vote in the future would confirm that the majority of the workers wanted the Steelworkers´ help.