United No Longer

Alabama factory votes for fifth time to decertify union

/ AP

Alabama factory workers voted for the fifth time in two years to break ties with the UAW on Tuesday.

Workers at NTN-Bower voted 74-52 to boot the union off the premises of the manufacturer, making it the third time anti-union employees have beaten UAW Local 1990 in the last 18 months.

Local 1990 did not respond to request for comment.

Union opponents have received legal assistance from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation throughout the process. NRTW spokesman Patrick Semmens said the fifth vote should settle any doubts about the will of the workers.

"Once again, employees at the Hamilton NTN-Bower plant have made it abundantly clear that they are not interested in the UAW's so-called ‘representation,’" he said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon.

The 22-vote margin is a bit smaller than the fourth ballot held in February, in which workers voted 82-50. The union filed challenges to the fourth ballot before the regional National Labor Relations Board, alleging that management interfered with the campaign. The NLRB ordered a fifth ballot in May.

"Unfortunately, it has already taken these workers five elections in less than two years to rid themselves of one stubborn union," Semmens said. "Employees shouldn't have to clear this many hurdles to remove an unwanted union."

The union had managed to narrowly win one of the five secret ballot elections in January. Those results were dismissed after it was revealed that somebody had stuffed the ballot boxes: 148 were counted, but only 139 workers voted.

Alabama is a right-to-work state, allowing workers to opt out of any union without fear of losing their jobs. A slim majority of 140 eligible employees were members of the union in 2013 when 74 workers paid dues. Local 1990 has seen its support from the shop vanish throughout the two-year process. Membership fell to 62 in 2014 after the first two votes were overruled.

Now that support has dropped to just 52 workers, Semmens said that he hopes the union and labor regulators will accept that the UAW is not welcome at NTN-Bower anymore.

"It is our hope that the Obama NLRB will finally certify these results and not allow UAW bosses and lawyers to play more games to thwart the will of the employees at NTN-Bower," Semmens said.