NLRB Affirms Kumho Illegally Suppressed USW Drive

Contact: Joe Smydo,, 412-562-2281

(Pittsburgh) – The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) last week upheld an administrative law judge’s findings that Kumho Tire illegally threatened and coerced workers at its Macon, Ga., site in a deliberate attempt to stop them from joining the United Steelworkers (USW) union.

The Board ordered Kumho to call a plant-wide meeting and read a detailed statement that not only acknowledges the company’s unlawful conduct but pledges future compliance with workers’ labor rights. Kumho’s president and its highest-ranking human resources executive must read the statement exactly as prepared by the NLRB. The company’s conduct was so egregious that the Board also took the unusual step of ordering that the company must hold the meeting in the presence of a USW official. 

“No matter how low this greedy corporation stoops, it will never defeat its workers’ battle for representation and a fair contract. And the USW will never give up on helping these workers,” said USW District 9 Director Daniel Flippo, who represents thousands of Steelworkers in Georgia, six other southern states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Administrative Law Judge Arthur J. Amchan ruled that Kumho tainted a 2017 representation election by coercing union supporters and threatening to close the plant if workers voted to join the USW, among other labor law violations. Kumho appealed, but the NLRB, in an Oct. 8 ruling, affirmed Amchan’s findings. 

Last fall, Kumho workers voted to join the USW through a separate election process.

“Once again, the federal government has publicly censured Kumho for its egregious and oppressive conduct,” Flippo said. “It’s time for the company to face facts. Its workers voted to unionize, and Kumho now must come to the table and commit to good-faith negotiations for the equitable contract these hard-working men and women long ago earned.”

The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.

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USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

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Pittsburgh, PA 15222