MACON, Ga.—Leo W. Gerard, United Steelworkers union international president, has sent a letter to South Korea President Moon Jae-in raising concerns about Kumho Tire's actions toward its workers in the U.S.
The USW has asked South Korea to intervene and ensure that the workers at Kumho's new plant in Macon be allowed to exercise their democratic rights in voting to unionize, claiming that because of Kumho Tire is currently under control of a creditors' committee led by the Korean Development Bank, the South Korean government could be held directly responsible for the behavior of the company's management.
Kumho officials could not be reached for comment.
"We request that you communicate with Kumho Tire as soon as possible to request that their management at the Macon plant immediately desist from all anti-union activities, adopt a clear position of neutrality in the upcoming NLRB election and allow the workers to exercise their right to freedom of association without interference," Gerard wrote in the letter.
The election is scheduled to take place on Oct. 12 and 13. The union filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board on Sept. 19 to conduct a union election for more than 300 workers at the site.
Gerard claims that Kumho Tire management has responded to the election petition in a hostile manner by requiring workers to attend captive audience meetings where managers have attempted to dissuade them from their effort to form a union.