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.



As I stated, growing up (over40) I saw this so most of the saboteurs are retired. Surprisingly, people do go along when this happens as they leave with pay also.


That is great. Nobody likes to stand in the unemployment line by themselves and now they will have plenty of company when they shutter this plant in two years or less. Dont forget, last one out turn off the lights!


You Tell them Contango, agree 100 percent.

Wa Tu Lo

Last one out turn off the lights. Last one out will probably be the CEO and he will step into his limo and laugh all the way to the bank with his $20,000,000 bonus check. The best job going these day is a person with a captains licence. He will be the captain of the boat bringing all the junk from China to the United States. Keep buying all that junk from them and soon we (United States) won't have enough manufacturing to make a bullet.

Like the person said earlier, if the company is making money, it's good management, if they are loosing money it's the unions fault. WAKE UP PEOPLE. Do you realize that in the big cities 4 of 5 people are at the poverty level. Is that the unions fault that these companies are moving overseas or is it just plain greed. You people that blame unions are the same people that are salary workers. You work sixty hours a week and get paid for forty. If you feel that is just, keep doing it.


Congratulations to the workers. They have EVERY right to vote in a Union; however, do not complain if the plant closes as Fruedenberg has EVERY right to elect not to run a unionized facility.

Good 2 B Me

Dead on! A calculated risk. They would rather chance losing their jobs instead of continuing to be bullied at work. It is a risk, but it could be well worth it! Time will tell.


I've been in a union for 13 years. Most of my coworkers have more years than myself. One has 42 years because he loves his job. Our pay is much better than when I worked for a non union company doing the same thing. I can do well for my family and have been blessed with a nest egg; not to mention a pension worth more than $350,000 to $400,000 dollars after 30 years versus nothing retiring for non union companies. If God blesses me to work that long I'll have a brighter future. Krogers for instance are unionized. Walmarts aren't. Krogers pays 17 dollars and hour to bake. Walmart pays 8. Krogers retires you with pensions worth 6 figures. Walmart.....absolutely nothing.


Re: "I've been in a union for 13 years."

I'm sincerely glad to hear that you're doing well.

Only question regarding the pension:

Defined benefit plans are dropping like flies. Hopefully you're contributing to your defined contribution (401(k)) plan.

I ONLY trust that which I can control.

A saying I use in business:

It's not that I don't trust you; I'm just trying to keep you honest.

Over my lifetime I've belonged to four unions. All were sh*t except the last one that I joined voluntarily.


In other news, A local employer will have to repay 2 yrs worth of overtime wages to approx. 250 employees after they were forced to stand around for 15 min. daily unpaid after their 8 hr shift for "passing information to the next shift" This is in response to a Dep't of Labor ruling against the company. This would not have happened in a union shop.

The Big Dog's back

Good for them.


This is kind of a no-brainer. An employer cannot make an hourly employee work for no pay. Being forced to stay around to fill in the next shift would count as work.


Stupid employer, you are required to keep time clock records. That was a loosing situation waiting to happen.


I truly wish these people a lot of luck but fro my past experience, Sandusky Foundy & Machine, old habits will be very hard to break. Unions at this level have shown a huge tendency to force companies to close or move. They are competing in a huge market.
I don't know their exact products but if this contributes to an increased price you can be sure that other companies have done the research and are waiting to take away the business. It takes time to re-tool but it is a very competive business.


yes the Union Bashers are alive once again.

A quick Google search of CEO and COO salaries tells the story--enormous jumps in salary even at financially trouble companies for the same CEO making poor decisions.

Remember Union bashers---It's not a matter of union employees making toooo much money, it's a matter of the employees at McDonalds, etc. not making enough.


Without low paying McDonalds employees, union workers would go hungry.


overseas get ready for a new business...Low information people just sent you some more jobs


10-4. It wont be long till Freudenberg-NOK moves all its manufacturing operations outside the U.S.


OMG...I am actually agreeing with paved pair of dice!


dont you understand that when people invest money and get nothing back they quit doing ignorant


Santa Claus is once a year.