WASHINGTON (Aug. 17) — Bridgestone/Firestone did not illegally interfere with a union election at its nonunion Aiken, S.C., plant or unlawfully interrogate a pro-union worker it later fired, the National Labor Relations Board ruled in reversing an administrative law judge´s 2005 decision.
The judge in the original case ruled that Plant Manager Michael Rose´s June 1, 2004, letter to plant employees — which thanked them for voluntarily providing him with information on United Steelworkers organizing activities — put pro-union employees on notice that they were under surveillance.
However, the board ruled that the letter contained no evidence or implication that management was trying to coerce or threaten the workers. Also, management acted within its rights in questioning Jeffrey Cockrell, who according to other workers used threatening behavior and obscene language in confronting anti-union employees, the board ruled.
A BFS spokeswoman said the company was pleased the board ruled in its favor.