NLRB official: Mercedes breaks labor law at Alabama auto plant


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (PAI)--Daimler-Benz broke U.S. labor law in contesting the United Auto Workers' organizing efforts at the firm's Mercedes-Benz vehicle plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala., National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge Keltner Locke has ruled.

Locke ordered Daimler to dump a rule in its employee handbook which reasonable workers could interpret as barring free speech, including discussion of the union. He also ordered the firm to stop barring workers, on their own time, from distributing pro-union literature in "mixed-use" rest break areas and in the plant's atrium.

UAW hailed Locke's late-July ruling. The UAW effort in Alabama is part of the union's new focus on organizing autoworkers at foreign "transplant" plants in the South.

"Daimler acted with hostility and in direct contempt of its neutrality policy in its dealing with pro-union workers" in Tuscaloosa, said union Secretary-Treasurer Gary Casteel.

"We always hear the company stating that they're neutral, but every team member in that plant knows it simply isn't true," Mercedes worker Rodney Bowens told UAW.

"If team members aren't intimidated, then why are they always telling me, 'I want a union, but I don't want anybody to know about it,'" Bowens added. "The company has created a climate of fear to prevent us from forming a union. In this case they broke federal law to do it, but there are countless other examples of where they use scare tactics."

Photo: An aerial shows the Mercedes/Benz training and visitors center in the foreground in Vance, Ala. with the assembly plant in the background. Neil Brake/The Tuscaloosa News/AP


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  • This is great news,I work at BMW in S.C. and we are and have experienced similar tactics! All Automotive plant workers in the south need to band together to make our situations better for us and our family's ! It's a joke how we as southerners are treated in these multi billion dollar transplants as if, we don't deserve better and,not just pay but, a voice in the workplace PERIOD ! We were told years ago when we were hired that BMW was a career job. How many career jobs don't want
    Input on how to better the job collectively ! Answer.... southern transplants . They just want your blood sweat and tears until you burn out and they replace you ! This has to change! In S.C. we are aiming to be the leading manufacturer in the group but, make the least and,we're
    Unorganized with less than half the people of an organized plant in Germany! Go figure ! However change gone come ! I AM GOING TO WORK RELENTLESSLY TO ORGANIZE BMW IN S.C . IF IT'S THE LAST THING I DO ON THIS EARTH !

    Posted by Willie J Pearson Jr, 08/10/2014 12:17am (1 year ago)

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