Freudenberg-NOK plant in Milan votes to unionize

Results unofficial, UAW challenging some votes.
Melissa Topey
Aug 16, 2013
Freudenberg-NOK, an autoparts plant in Milan, unofficially became unionized Thursday by a close vote of 103 to 97. Cheers went up when the vote total was announced.

“We did it. We came together as a team and we did it,” said Melanie Jett, an hourly employee at the plant, as she hugged fellow workers.  

But one obstacle remains.

The UAW, the organizing union, is challenging 10 votes, arguing they were cast either by salaried or temporary employees who are prohibited from voting. A UAW organizer reassured pro-union employees gathered outside the plant Thursday that those votes will be kept out. Freudenberg-NOK plans to make sure those 10 votes are counted.

“Today’s vote proved to be inconclusive due to the ballots challenged by the UAW,” said Lisa Gentile, spokeswoman for the company. “Freudenberg-NOK believes all eligible associates should have a voice in the outcome of the election and will continue to follow its standard policy of honoring and defending all legal protections afforded to our associates under the National Labor Relations Act.” A hearing will be held within the next couple of days at the National Labor Relations Board office in Cleveland, union organizers said.  

Freudenberg employees were hopeful even before the vote began, saying they thought they had the votes. Employees held a rally starting at 6 a.m., standing at the employee parking entrance holding Union yes signs. There ranks were added to by union officials from other UAW chapters, some from places as far away as Detroit and Kokomo, Ind. Other employees honked horns as they drove into the parking lot to go to work.

The employees said they were not against the company or their work. They wanted a fair and balanced workplace where there was more of a partnership with management.

Thursday they got it, unofficially.




A stupidly simplistic answer to a complex question.

So when are you starting a co. and paying generous wages and providing top knotch health and welfare benefits?

The Big Dog's back

Everyone of these guys makes more than all their employees combined.

Licorice Schtick

How is a six-figure salary for union management a problem, but an eight-figure salary for corporate management, not?

Stop It

...cry baby, cry...

There is no cure for "this" economy.

Fibber Mcgee

Veggie U can use it for storage

Licorice Schtick

Labor is not the problem. Stop blaming the victims of mismanagement. Labor is relatively powerless. Few workers are represented by unions. The problem is that with a corrupt government, for sale to the highest bidder, we manage the economy for the benefit of the 1%, devaluing labor by assuring a sulplus, and pushing more and more costs and risks down to the people least able to endure them, while using propaganda to divide workers against themselves with "issues" such as racism, abortion and unionism, and to convince each category of employee that the others are to blame.

There is plenty for everyone, but greedy selfish people want it all for themselves, and they're getting, with your complicity. You're being had, people.


Re: "Labor is not the problem"

"Worker of the world unite" eh?

If Marxism worked, the Soviet Union and other "worker's paradises" would be shining examples.


The next on the list is the USA!

"The Obama administration is being strategically brilliant by doing this behind the scenes," he says"

Read more:

Have fun today, moving a kid back to school : )

Good 2 B Me

If it is from Fox News, It is more than likely BS!


I'm often curious to learn if a co. is private or publicly owned.

The difference tends to affect how they can and do operate.

FYI: "Freudenberg remains a family-owned concern"

The Big Dog's back

Definitely your kind of company pooh.


I spent 23 years in the USAF and 10 years as a UAW member. I am just as proud of my affiliation with the Union as I am of my military time. Most UAW members are decent hardworking folks trying to take care of their families.
There are a few "bad apples" in every walk of life. Union workers are far from perfect, but so is management! Good Luck to EVERYONE at that plant!


Finally someone who makes sense and knows what they are talking about.

Good 2 B Me

Well said!


Looks like a lot of women in the pictures so hopefully these are secondary incomes and will not hurt that bad when they close the doors.


Re: "close the doors."

Maybe mgmt. will just cull the herd of the weak performers.

Unions exist largely to protect incompetent workers.

And YES - "Good luck" to EVERYONE at the facility.

Especially those who voted against and will still have their paychecks raped by the UAW.


Why would their incomes be secondary?


Not saying they are....hoping they are to cushion the blow. I too wish everyone the best.

I believe the company was to shut down Friday for a company picnic. Did that happen ?

Good 2 B Me

That has to be one of the most ridiculous things that I have ever read. Secondary Incomes? I bet you are not married. I cannot imagine a woman living with someone that backward thinking.


You will regret the hollow empty promises the unions make.You pay for a couple fat cats in other states to party on your hard earned money.2013 unions are extinct.Welcome back to 1920.In Sandusky remember Ford and Chrysler,New Departure? They are all gone,
Great union shops.Unless the management is total evil save
your money.Workers need to take the pay they get home not
pay for union reps to party in Las Vegas.


No regrets here. The union is why we have a pension, medical and prescription benefits today. It was worth every dollar paid in union dues.


Re: "The union is why we have a pension, medical and prescription benefits today."


FDR's wage and price controls during the War.

Cos. needed to compete for much needed employees and gave them benefits since they couldn't compete on wages.


You really think you know everything no matter what the subject, don't you?

Good 2 B Me

He has Google!


The same union that voted in two tier pay systems, allows new employees to not have a pension and only has a 401k with no match. This is a case of the old guard protecting their interests and screwing the next generation. Although this is about a private union, what about all of the double dipping going on in the public sector. Remember, this vote was for an automotive supplier, not the Big 3 UAW. There is a huge difference on how the UAW negotiates contracts for the red headed step child (the suppliers).


Whatever the reason you have a pension, medical, and prescription benefits, you won't be keeping them. Ridiculously high pension costs are starting to break many companies, and even Unions no longer like Obamacare because they're now aware of what the law will mean to businesses and employees alike: MAJOR added expenses.


Good luck'll need it.


A lot of those Ford, Chrysler, New Departure UAW workers built and bought homes in the area. They bought cars and spent their money in restaurants, bars and stores. Many an area business benefited from a UAW worker's paycheck.
They also paid more in income taxes than the average worker. There are upsides to having a higher paid labor force.

The Big Dog's back

Good luck penetrating the right wingnut mind with that one.


Re: "There are upsides to having a higher paid labor force."

An increase in wages or high compensation without a comparable increase in productivity is a recipe for financial disaster.

Your use of "past tense" speaks for itself.