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.


The Big Dog's back

Great news.

Licorice Schtick

The union-haters eagerly hope for the smug self-satisfaction they will feel if the plant closes.

All employed people are better off thanks to unions.

Unions make mistakes, but so does management. Mismanaged companies fail and blame the union, when in many cases the company would have failed anyway.


HUGE MISTAKE!!! I'll give it 3 years and then out. That is how long it will take for the honeymoon to wear off. Then it will be Tsbaki all over again! You saw what the union did there.......NOTHING!!! And all those Kool-aid drinking union employees LOST THEIR JOBS!!!! Have you people not learned anything yet? The union just wants pure numbers to take your money and deposit it into their pockets, NOT YOURS!!! And when it's all over and you are out of a job because you decided to listen to some union rep when he said to strike.........don't come crying to us! You made your bed, now sleep in it! Oh, by the way, you just took a pay CUT due to your union dues! REAL SMART!!!


Unions make employees LAZY!!!


A parallel to parents who pamper their children - same result

Licorice Schtick

Having no union makes management lazy.

Having no union makes employees poor.


13 years and counting and I make more than average the salary for the job I do and trust me I'm not lazy. Unions take pride in the work we do so you WILL get a great product. I've worked for years outside a union and it's what working for someone should be.


Were the bakers better off when Twinkies/Hostess folded?

Raoul Duke

I thought they had it pretty good there already. I don't how this is going to help.

Good 2 B Me

They had a horrible work environment. Extreme favoritism and an extremely hostile management staff. They have not had it good in over 10 years there. It continues to get worse and worse.


To quote Lisa from corporate headquarters, Looks GOOD on the outside but is ROTTEN on the inside. Only option left was to get Union representation.


Closed soon....


Wow. 6 people decided it all. What a "victory." Well, there goes another plant. So instead of 103 people "enjoying" the union...200+ will eventually be out of the a job because of this.

Good 2 B Me

This union is not there for these people to 'enjoy.' It was voted in to protect the employees against the tyranny of the "leadership" in that factory. This is for the good of ALL of the employees.

Raoul Duke

What would "protect" employees from "tyranny" would be if there were more good jobs than people to fill them. Then employees could choose where they wanted to work. See how it all works together to turn the middle class into new age slaves?

Good 2 B Me

Not sure what that has to do with this, but ok. The management therre is extremely hostile to the workers. It has been getting worse through the years and has gotten to the point of no return. Some of the people that helped to get the Union involved are very quiet and nonconfrontational people. They have been pushed to the breaking point and decided to fight back. SO yes, the tyranical management has pushed them to this.


I don't know where you are getting your information from... but the management at Freudenberg NOK are NOT "hostile" to the employees! Freudenberg meets with their employees on a regular basis to talk about issues anyone may have. Why wasn't it brought up then? Because they had to be bullies about it. You are really cracking me up here reading your garbage!

There is not one of these union organizers there that are "very quiet and non confrontational". These spoiled individuals will be surprised when the door hits them in the A_ _ on the way out because that is probably what is going to happen to this company. Shame on you for even saying such a thing! If it was so bad there why would people still be working there after 10-30 years? They know where the door is. You obviously don't know anything about Freudenberg NOK!

Good 2 B Me

I served my time there prior to retiring a couple of years ago; so yes I do know it very well. Why are there only a handful of employees there in the 10-20 year range? Simple. That is when this mess began. They began blatantly showing favoritism, rules were only applied when it was convenient. It has gotten to were people are not even allowed to talk to each other. The Union was organized by several employees including a couple that are in that 10-20 year range. Why? Because they remember what is used to be like. They also know that they are being bullied by management. I was there and witnessed the change in person from a position that answered to management, but was not production. I have seen how they acted. This has been brought up in meetings. They have been laugheds at and threatened concerning the Union. The moment that Management was served their notice, Some of the managers literally broke down and cried.

As for the really long term people, several of them have been there long enough to have grown with the people who are now playing favorite with them from the management level.

So, yes, I actually am quite aware of what has taken place there and how things operate.

Good 2 B Me

"There is not one of these union organizers there that are "very quiet and non confrontational".

You sound like management by lumping all unions into the same category. I am guessing that you are suddenly worried about YOUR A__ getting the boot and the place closing! Hit a little too close to home on that one?


Once again, talking trash! No Dear, I am not in management. Sure there are things that have gone on here that maybe shouldn't have, but that is everywhere. These things in no way constitute for a union. Really?? These people need to grow up that's all. I hope these votes that the union is contesting works out for Freudenberg. That's the last thing area needs is another vacant building just because of greedy employees! It's never enough is it???

Good 2 B Me

This is not about Greed. This is about the unfair treatment. Since you claim to work there, you should know this. Feel the change coming? Get on board now. If you are afraid of the change, move along now! It is that simple! Someone out there would be happy to have your little job!

Good 2 B Me

These people have been mistreated for years. It was only a matter of time before this happened. Sadly, management has gotten worse and worse through the years. I salute the employees that organized this and congratulate them for being willing to take such a huge risk. Congratulations. I hope that you get what you had hoped for from this!


They hoped the company would shut down? Because that is the likely result...

The Big Dog's back

Coming from Mr. doom and gloom. I hope eventually you find peace in your life.


Heck Brutus this is good news. I have already sent a link to this article to our business development team. We will be more than happy to assist them in relocation!

More work for me!


Re: "Coming..."

Still drivin' that old Mazda?

When you gonna buy a NEW GM, Ford or Chrysler and put your union lovin' mouth where your money is and quit being a hypocrite?


depending on age of his "old Mazda". Mazda was partially owned and operated by FORD and a lot of their product was made and assembled by UAW employees for many years.


Re: "depending on age,"

Good to know.

So he probably wouldn't get it trashed if he parked it in a UAW union hall parking lot huh?


If it has that "precious" UAW sticker in the corner of the window he should be fine.


I applaud them for making a stand against what is becoming the new normal here...low wages and crappy working conditions, but I wonder how long the plant will be in Milan. Look what happened to Tenneco, CVG and Norwalk Furniture...they will just pull out and move to Mexico and China were wages are cheap and there are no work rules. I hope the best for them.


Yup, me too.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Correct me if I am wrong but isn't joining a union to have a partnership in management like trying to "boink" your way back to being a virgin? A union exists to specifically be a foil against management. Some people may have been sold a bill of goods here, and I do empathize with those who will now have parts of their checks forcibly confiscated for a service they do not want, need, nor desire (not to mention going to candidates they would never actually support on their own).

If you are now forced to be a part of something undesirable to you I would advise you to stay involved, run for union boss or whatever, and take control of it from those who just wanted the bennies of a union and none of the responsibility or decision-making. I won't presume the management is pure as the wind-driven snow in this by any means, but I have a hunch that the U.A.W. wasn't completely forthcoming either.

How long were the talks with union reps going on? Were all members briefed on the responsibility of a union, its bosses, and members? Were they shown videos of meetings and offered impartial advice on the advantages AND disadvantages of joining a union? Did they sign off on all the points of understanding at what it takes? Were they allowed to offer their support or rejection of political action the union takes or otherwise ask questions about how specifically their dues were going to be used?

Or was it just a generic promise of something more or better than what they have now? Given the misery of today's economy and the fact people are trying to look out for themselves it is an easy sale that could cross over into fleecing very easily. As a man who sells paper and cardboard on a regular basis to kids, I am very sensitive to and defensive of people being manipulated into or out of something without an explanation or understanding of the transaction.

While this may sound anti-union, I certainly am NOT. I get to speak to many people who are forcibly conscripted into unions and have expressed their grudges, as well as those who fully embrace unions and are upset that they aren't interacted with as they are SUPPOSED to be.

In other words, what percentage of the union members actually vote? Attend meetings? Run for positions in the union? I don't know myself but if national election participation is any indication it is abysmal. We can probably also look at the general decline of other organizations from churches to social clubs (so it isn't just unions) as further, woeful evidence. It is TOUGH to compel people to participate in things that they even supposedly like!

Most people just want to work and go home and not be browbeaten and propagandized. It is bad enough when management does it but what hope is there when your own union, your last hope, does it just as much if not more? I can't fully blame them for not participating, but by not doing so they will never get anything more or different from their union.

Perhaps this is why we see articles on the decline of unions or the partnerships that ones like the AFL-CIO have to make to bolster ranks and the spirits of people. Or why the choice of participation in "right-to-work" is being eyed by more states. What are the participation stats there? How many people, when not forced into a union, willingly join? If it is high then that means the union is doing a great job and not seen as a nuisance to the worker(s)! That is how it should be. Compelling, engaging, active, and attractive.

It sounds great, fun, and a way that you will have a secure future of some kind. It will all be garbage if it isn't done properly and employee/union member misery will be rampant after the honeymoon phase wears off.

There is no free, negotiated-for lunch.

Big Dog, anyone? Shed some light on this for me?

The Big Dog's back

Your wrong hero. Again. A union exists to better things for employees and the company alike. I have to admit the Repubs have done a pretty good job of brainwashing the 30 to 50 crowd.


Re: "A union exists,"

Are you busy organizing or do you even have a union where you work?

I'll bet not hypocrite.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Are Republicans brainwashing or are unions actually not doing the betterment or even just have a crappy PR department? As a person who is sick and tired of contention that results in in loud shouting "I/WE'RE RIGHT AND THEY'RE WRONG" that is all that came to mind reading this article. Am I jaded? Maybe, I'm willing to admit, but that is also why I asked for input in case I was missing something.

All I can do is observe, ask questions, and pay attention, but last I saw businesses weren't lining up begging unions to come into their shops because they have a magic business model that does what is claimed regarding betterment. Big Dog, if a union came into my shop and said "we'll make it so you can afford to hire 10 people at $20/hour will full pension and benefits" I would jump on that quicker than a hobo on a ham sandwich.

As I talk to and observe union members that are fed up, stonewalled, and unhappy with their unions I can only presume that the union is failing to serve or at least communicate with its own members. As I talk to and observe very pro-union people their largest frustration is the lack of participation by the members. Why isn't the union forcing or otherwise making a compelling case to encourage participation?

All I hear and see is discontentment regarding these organizations, so what else am I supposed to think as an observer?

Licorice Schtick

Workers alone are relatively powerless against employers. Workers unite with unions to change that power dynamic. The imbalance is greatest with the unskilled so they has the most to gain and so are the most likely to do so. If they overreach, then yes, management will consider the relatively expensive alternative of going where unionization is less likely, but not if it's cheaper to stay.

It's easy to blame unions for all manufacturing problems, but in many cases the real problem is lazy stupid management. And sometimes it's external stuff that neither workers nor management can do much about.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I appreciate your reply and can agree to the opportunities and dangers a union poses to a business (mismanagement and miscommunication from management aside as that is its own issue that riles me up).


And the parking lot was empty Friday. Get used to it.


FYI. The parking lot was empty because it was their company picnic

2cents's picture

One of my employees daughter works there. She likes it, she feels that the family owned company treated her well. I can not judge. I have never dealt with them, but packaging gaskets is labor intensive and can be outsourced. I would bet they kept it here in the US because of quality concerns. I do not know but the vote margins were very close, just like our last presidential election. I predict tension starting very soon!

The Big Dog's back

Do you really think one of your lackeys is going to be honest with you?

2cents's picture

We are a team and yes I do. Boy do you think all management acts like gods or something?


I worked there for a short period and back then the gaskets ( components) were being shipped in, I don't recall them being actually made in the US.

Licorice Schtick

Like there's no tension already. The difference is, unless they improve, now management will share the discomfort.


Great job people. You now get to have money taken out of your check in order to eventually not have a job.

Free Man

Closed soon....


Coming soon a new Freudenberg-NOK plant in a right to work state, Erie County good news, large parking lot available. Soon to be appointed union hack to head union and not do any work, can always flip over to ODOT if a democrat is elected governor.


why dont the people that want to tell companys what they want to be paid go start their own company and have their employees tell them what they will be paid bet that would work for these uaw workers

be for real

soon wages go up high,people wont do anything ,but their assigned machine,have to hire more people they will go out of buisiness and ship their company over sees


This plant has struggled throughout the years to come back and now the employees have sealed their fate by allowing the union to get their foot in the door. In a couple more years, we will be reading where this plant moved or went out of business. The greedy employees should be glad they have a job. The unions are breaking this country.

The Big Dog's back

Greedy employees? What about greedy management?

Good 2 B Me

That plant has been extremely successful. This is to stop the unfair labor practices of Management. This is the same Union to negotiated fair wages and benefits for Ventra. This is not a bad move, it is to secure a safe, fair workplace.


Congratulations UAW organizers, you've found another crop of dupes!

Now the employees can have money taken out of their wages in order to help pay the salaries of the fat cats and other officers in the UAW.

"Scores of union leaders earn six-figure salaries":

"The Center for Public Integrity found compensation for leaders of the 10 largest unions ranged from $173,000 at the United Auto Workers to $618,000 at the Laborers’ International Union of North America and almost $480,000 for the president of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees"

The Big Dog's back

How many fatcat business owners are there?

Ticker Company CEO Name Year Compensation ($)
ORCL ORACLE CORP Lawrence J. Ellison 2012 $96,160,696
TSLA TESLA MOTORS INC Elon Musk 2012 $78,150,010
GBL GAMCO INVESTORS INC Mario J. Gabelli 2012 $68,970,486
ATVI ACTIVISION BLIZZARD INC Robert A. Kotick 2012 $64,942,306
CBS CBS CORP Leslie Moonves 2012 $62,157,026
LNG CHENIERE ENERGY INC Charif Souki 2012 $57,518,332
CACC CREDIT ACCEPTANCE CORP Brett A. Roberts 2012 $54,282,500
MCK MCKESSON CORP John H. Hammergren 2013 $51,744,999
HCA HCA HOLDINGS INC Richard M. Bracken 2012 $46,359,246
LINTA LIBERTY INTERACTIVE CORP Gregory B. Maffei 2012 $45,302,040
JEF JEFFERIES GROUP LLC Richard B. Handler 2012 $45,182,239
LVLT LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS INC James Q. Crowe 2012 $40,708,970
XOM EXXON MOBIL CORP R. W. Tillerson 2012 $40,266,501
DIS DISNEY (WALT) CO Robert A. Iger 2012 $40,227,848
NUAN NUANCE COMMUNICATIONS INC Paul A. Ricci 2012 $37,077,679
YHOO YAHOO INC Marissa A. Mayer 2012 $36,615,404
RL RALPH LAUREN CORP Ralph Lauren 2012 $36,325,782
NKE NIKE INC Mark G. Parker 2012 $35,212,678
PLL PALL CORP Lawrence Kingsley 2012 $33,862,509
VIAB VIACOM INC Philippe P. Dauman 2012 $33,450,824
HON HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC David M. Cote 2012 $33,247,178
CVX CHEVRON CORP J. S. Watson 2012 $32,227,122
NLY ANNALY CAPITAL MANAGEMENT Michael A.J. Farrell 2012 $32,016,284
WRB BERKLEY (W R) CORP William R. Berkley 2012 $31,296,780
PRU PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL INC John R. Strangfeld Jr. 2012 $30,693,655
TYC TYCO INTERNATIONAL LTD Edward D. Breen 2012 $30,552,734
KO COCA-COLA CO Muhtar Kent 2012 $30,460,186
PM PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL Louis C. Camilleri 2012 $30,304,091
REGN REGENERON PHARMACEUTICALS Leonard S. Schleifer M.D., Ph.D. 2012 $30,047,097
NWSA NEWS CORP K. Rupert Murdoch 2012 $30,022,292
JNJ JOHNSON & JOHNSON William C. Weldon 2012 $29,838,259
EBAY EBAY INC John J. Donahoe 2012 $29,705,081
CMCSA COMCAST CORP Brian L. Roberts 2012 $29,124,014
SBUX STARBUCKS CORP Howard Schultz 2012 $28,909,773
MDLZ MONDELEZ INTERNATIONAL INC Irene Rosenfeld 2012 $28,811,314
DUK DUKE ENERGY CORP William D. Johnson 2012 $28,655,920
OXY OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORP Stephen I. Chazen 2012 $28,519,053
AXP AMERICAN EXPRESS CO K. I. Chenault 2012 $28,491,734
LYV LIVE NATION ENTERTAINMENT Michael Rapino 2012 $28,479,535
MCD MCDONALD'S CORP James A. Skinner 2012 $27,741,408
UTX UNITED TECHNOLOGIES CORP Louis Ch?nevert 2012 $27,562,325
LMT LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP Robert J. Stevens 2012 $27,549,444
BA BOEING CO W. James McNerney Jr. 2012 $27,484,138
DVA DAVITA HEALTHCARE PARTNERS Kent J. Thiry 2012 $26,799,121
TRW TRW AUTOMOTIVE HOLDINGS CORP John C. Plant 2012 $26,203,477
TWX TIME WARNER INC Jeffrey L. Bewkes 2012 $25,889,823
GE GENERAL ELECTRIC CO Jeffrey R. Immelt 2012 $25,806,352
PFE PFIZER INC Ian C. Read 2012 $25,634,136
ABT ABBOTT LABORATORIES Miles D. White 2012 $25,118,836
MDT MEDTRONIC INC Omar Ishrak 2012 $25,025,639
GPS GAP INC Glenn Murphy 2012 $24,627,812
BLMN BLOOMIN' BRANDS INC Elizabeth A. Smith 2012 $24,450,233
NOC NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORP Wesley G. Bush 2012 $24,411,853
KRC KILROY REALTY CORP John B. Kilroy Jr. 2012 $23,804,530
EXC EXELON CORP John W. Rowe 2012 $23,483,442
FE FIRSTENERGY CORP Anthony J. Alexander 2012 $23,310,829
DG DOLLAR GENERAL CORP Richard W. Dreiling 2012 $23,160,197
DOW DOW CHEMICAL Andrew N. Liveris 2012 $22,989,668
WFC WELLS FARGO & CO John G. Stumpf 2012 $22,873,085
POST POST HOLDINGS INC William P. Stiritz 2012 $22,744,428
AXS AXIS CAPITAL HOLDINGS LTD Albert A. Benchimol 2012 $22,674,021
COF CAPITAL ONE FINANCIAL CORP Richard D. Fairbank 2012 $22,605,374
DF DEAN FOODS CO Gregg L. Engles 2012 $22,533,094
CAT CATERPILLAR INC Douglas R. Oberhelman 2012 $22,374,744
T AT&T INC R. Stephenson 2012 $22,234,703
DHR DANAHER CORP H. Lawrence Culp Jr. 2012 $21,898,728
TJX TJX COMPANIES INC Carol Meyrowitz 2013 $21,768,800
JCI JOHNSON CONTROLS INC Stephen A. Roell 2012 $21,382,876
LYB LYONDELLBASELL INDUSTRIES NV James L. Gallogly 2012 $21,242,927
AGN ALLERGAN INC David E.I. Pyott 2012 $21,164,198
CBE COOPER INDUSTRIES PLC Kirk S. Hachigian 2011 $21,128,672
F FORD MOTOR CO Alan Mulally 2012 $20,955,806
CSC COMPUTER SCIENCES CORP Michael W. Laphen 2012 $20,859,081
SD SANDRIDGE ENERGY INC Tom L. Ward 2012 $20,764,622
QCOM QUALCOMM INC Paul E. Jacobs 2012 $20,730,873
WMT WAL-MART STORES INC Michael T. Duke 2013 $20,693,545
TGT TARGET CORP Gregg W. Steinhafel 2012 $20,647,464
WLP WELLPOINT INC Angela F. Braly 2012 $20,590,781
BEE STRATEGIC HOTELS & RESORTS Laurence S. Geller 2012 $20,559,749
MPC MARATHON PETROLEUM CORP Gary R. Heminger 2012 $20,398,168
CVS CVS CAREMARK CORP Larry J. Merlo 2012 $20,330,097
BLK BLACKROCK INC Laurence D. Fink 2012 $20,231,401
AMG AFFILIATED MANAGERS GRP INC Sean M. Healey 2012 $19,800,156
CMG CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC Steve Ells 2012 $19,741,296
NBR NABORS INDUSTRIES LTD Anthony G. Petrello 2012 $19,734,569
APC ANADARKO PETROLEUM CORP R A. Walker 2012 $19,664,885
MRX MEDICIS PHARMACEUT CP Jonah Shacknai 2011 $19,636,817
BBY BEST BUY CO INC Hubert Joly 2013 $19,550,692
COP CONOCOPHILLIPS R. M. Lance 2012 $19,287,218
LTD L BRANDS INC Leslie H. Wexner 2012 $19,232,970
UNP UNION PACIFIC CORP James R. Young 2012 $19,114,972
VPRT VISTAPRINT NV Robert S. Keane 2012 $19,043,339
DE DEERE & CO Samuel R. Allen 2012 $19,031,943
RTN RAYTHEON CO William H. Swanson 2012 $19,024,036
INTC INTEL CORP Paul S. Otellini 2012 $18,991,300
FDML FEDERAL-MOGUL CORP Jos? Maria Alapont 2012 $18,988,692
PNR PENTAIR LTD Randall J. Hogan 2012 $18,772,054
PIR PIER 1 IMPORTS INC Alexander W. Smith 2013 $18,755,923


CEO & Presidents, NOT "owners."

Shareholders "own" the cos. putz.

And one can choose to buy their products or NOT.

The Big Dog's back

That's your comeback nincompoop?


Re: "GE GENERAL ELECTRIC CO Jeffrey R. Immelt 2012 $25,806,352"

Friend of your pal? :)

The Big Dog's back

Nope. piece of shoot just like the rest.


There you have it folks. I have no horse in this race but whatever happened to the business model that included taking care of your employee? It seems that OSHA and the Labor Dept. have been all over some employers for not following the law. I see the articles on the NR website often. There's lots of pros and cons when it comes to unions but the same can be said about management. Any good business has to have good employees. MANAGEMENT AND OWNERS ARE GREEDY!



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.

2cents's picture

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.


Winnie, if you would spend as much time looking for a job as you do trolling this site you might make something of yourself.

Licorice Schtick

He doesn't need a job. He invested in gold. Oh, wait...


Re: "invested in gold."

Gold is a currency hedge NOT an investment.

Far more importantly, the S&P is up 144% since March 2009.

Have you been missing out?

Licorice Schtick

Equivocate if you must, but a hedge is a class of investment, and buying gold is not always a hedge.

Speculation is a zero-sum game (or less than.) It adds no value. Workers create wealth with work, not by parasitizing others.


Re: "Speculation is a zero-sum game"


What is the source of capital for job creation and the economy?

So where and why do public employee pension plans invest assets?

Sad that personal financial planning and economic illiteracy is rampant in the U.S.


Re: "Equivocate..."

Gold is a 'lousy' investment. It pays no div'ds or interest.

1. As a currency hedge, it has no counterparty risk. It can be converted into ANY currency.

If gold has no value, then why does the U.S. hold 800 tonnes of the stuff?

FYI: I hold a highly diversified portfolio (equities, fixed, real estate, cash) and gold (GLD) represents currently < 2% of the total.

Trust me, I ain't sweatin' my (GLD) purchases.


Where the Ford, Crysler and Gm plants are now?

The Big Dog's back

Are you proud that they shipped their jobs overseas?


I asked a question, Obviously you either cannot answer or are trying to deflect from a answer you care not to share as it does not support your ideology.

The Big Dog's back

What part of my post didn't you understand?


I understand you like to deflect. Maybe it is because you arent smart enough to answer or maybe you just get on here to spout stupidity to show proof to get SS.

Good 2 B Me

This company is already owned from Germany. It is in the USA. Stop complaining!




Having worked in both union and non-union shops, I have to say that if you have good management, you don't need a union. These days, most management people have never worked in an hourly job. Most come from college where they learn from the book. The only trouble is the book was written by people who have also never worked in a factory. When I was a union steward, our job was to protect the workers from harm or unlawful termination. It was to negotiate an adequate wage and other benefits. Our plant closed after many years of business. We did a great job, but couldn't compete with Mexico's wages. The non-union plant I worked in is still here. They started out with good wages, but sadly has gone downhill. Best of luck to everyone involved.


Great comment!


What is so wrong with letting the working man work? What is wrong with not wanting to be treated like you are not human? Why are all of these haters here when it comes to unions? I bet most of the haters are no longer in the workforce getting treated BADLY. I bet they are sitting at home collecting their pensions while others are suffering~just barely eating while they go to work everyday. Or maybe they are one of those in management who live their life just to make the workers suffer. Why are these haters the first to complain when someone collects food stamps because they lost their job due to management wanting to make cuts? What is the WORKING MAN supposed to do? Tell me~their only hope is for a union to help them get through each miserable day at work since unions have phased out and management treat their workers even worse. What are the workers EVERYWHERE supposed to do? They go to work every day and still go to bed hungry. Don't you think it is time to cut back on the loads of upper management for a change? Don't you think that EVERY place is top heavy and making more money than an average middle class workers will EVER see? Instead of complaining about the working man who is just trying to put food on the table~why don't you spend more time coming up with a solution? A solution that will take us back to the day when there were jobs~people went to work everyday and were treated like human beings~the day when the middle class did not go to bed hungry after WORKING all day! People need to work~unless you want us all to live off of the government (even though they want to take all of that away too) and the taxes that the rich don't have to pay. TELL ME~how is the middle class worker going to make it?


Re: "take us back to the day when there were jobs~people went to work everyday and were treated like human beings (snip)"

A myth of a Golden Age that NEVER was.

The Big Dog's back

One thing I have to say about you is that you hate everyone equally.


Re: "One thing,"

You're like a seagull, always shitin'.

Have a nice day Precious.


I remember being treated better than now~you must not be in the workforce right now??


I remember being treated better than now~you must not be in the workforce right now??


I remember being treated better than now~you must not be in the workforce right now??


Sorry~do not know why post duplicated~tried to edit but couldn't : /


Great comment!


Behappy your name is hypocritical! lmao! If you're worried about the plight of the working man then look straight at DC and complain, the crony capitalistic policies of our post Constitutional gov. are what's killing America.


@SUGAR Well, first off I think I know where most of the problems are coming from OK? My comment was addressed to all of the haters~here~like YOU ;)


The smiles will be short lived. The begining of the end. Does anyone want to predict the time frame.


Re: "The smiles will be short lived."

I REALLY don't wish them ill.

A brief story:

Over the summer and while in college, I worked at a unionized plant.

I was about ready to go back to school when the membership called for a strike vote.

I went to my fellow "lifers" and said:

My vote is YOUR vote, what do you want me to do?

To a man, they said vote "strike." So I did.

The union had little money in the strike fund and so the mgmt. broke the back of the strike within about 60 days.

The co. no longer exists in the area.

Good 2 B Me

I would give real money if you would shut up.

dorothy gale

I hope unionization doesn't cause these people to lose their jobs.


Unionization won't cause them to lose their jobs, but the company will say that's the reason if they cut employees. Management/owners will never blame making cutbacks, closing, or moving on mismanagement. And apparently most of the people on this board don't think companies are ever mismanaged, either.


Re: "most of the people on this board don't think companies are ever mismanaged, either."

You may want to familiarize yourself with quality experts like W. Edwards Deming - it's ALWAYS mgmt's issue.

For one, Detroit auto makers always gave into union demands.

Good 2 B Me

True Story! They 'Layed off' about 50 people 5 or 6 years ago if you remember. Blamed it on the company that bought a portion of the business. Turns out that they simply had not made plans to use that space in a reasonable time and it cost 50 or so people their jobs. Management was hardly affected. There were a few members of management, but not nearly as many as production. Poor planning by Bad Management.


Union or not. If the company bigwigs decide to close this place in a year or two the union will not save them.

Been there , done that.

All any union wants is union dues so the union fat cats can go to "conventions" with all the perks.

Yes, I know that companies have been mismanaged. Many of them are to some degree.


What a lot of union haters. Divide and conquer. Perfectly all right for CEOs to make BILLIONS cause the stockholders own the company. Ha Ha Ha but the union guys are "fat cats" Ha Ha Ha. Meanwhile, Shalom Bernanke continues to make you poor schlub's money worth less and less every day.


Re: "stockholders own the company."

So you have $0.00 investible assets in a retirement fund?


Re: "stockholders own the company." YOU made that statement in a previous post.
AS TO MY RETIREMENT None of your business.


Re: "YOU made that statement in a previous post."

Actually, I used the term "shareholders."

The point: If you have a retirement fund and own any equities, YOU are a shareholder.

If not, enjoy living off the scraps the govt. and charity will provide you.


STOCK, SHARE same thing nit picker


Re: "same thing"

It ain't necessarily so financially ignorant one.

The Big Dog's back

Well on your way today pooh. Burp.


Did you read the part where I said COMPANY bigwigs mismanage - as well. Or should I have used the term fat cats all the way around?

I agree there are a lot of Greedy FAT CATS in COMPANIES - Why the HELL ELSE would they be in business?

There- is that better? Do I make myself more clear now?


it is not the first company to try to vote in a union. Firelands hospital, glidden in huron tried and failed. If the company runs without any issues and treats their employees correctly unions wouldn't even have a chance to enter the local companies. If it is true that they are horribly mistreated, I hope the union helps. Good luck. Unions are not what they used to be.


Hey Doggie,where did you come back from?


The only problem I see is what did the Union promise them? A Union can not guarantee better wages, it must be negotiated. It will be interesting to see if better wages and benefits are obtained. They may actually get no raise or better benefits and have to pay union dues resulting in less take home pay. Remember, they are a UAW supplier, not the big 3 with the top pay and pensions. Look at the difference in pay the old Ford plant in Castalia, they start at 12/hr now and top pay is 17/hr...far from the 25 to 30 they used to make when they were owned by Ford. The same can be said of KBI, Tenneco in Milan had to move their plant to Mexico to meet the demands of lower parts cost from Chrysler. Kinda ironic, the big 3 need their suppliers to make stuff cheaper so they can continue to pay their workers better wages and benefits.


Re: "move their plant to Mexico,"

And actually, the economy of Mexico is doin' better than the U.S. which is tending to keep the "illegals" at home.

Some U.S. farmers are having difficulty finding pickers anymore.

Do you think that maybe they could get the unemployed gringos to work in the fields?

Licorice Schtick

Sure. The real reason for a fence on the border is to prevent an exodus of American workers to Mexico.


Re: "Sure."

Try to stay up on current events would ya?

"With Mexican economy improving, fewer cross the border"

The Big Dog's back

There ya go pooh. A job just for you, PICKER.


The only thing that I was against , was when I took a job at the Lear plant in Fremont and wasnt allowed in the union cause I hadnt been there long enough to join it and yet they still stole money from me to cover Union dues .I know that Unions can be a good thing , but at the same token they can drive work out of the country or close plants entirely .
You have to look at the plants in the Sandusky area that have closed that had unions , It makes me wander if everything was done threw the unions to aviod the plant closing , .
And I want to say one more thing , And that is , THAT A UNION IS ONLY AS STRONG AS THE MEMBERS IT REPRESENTS

The Big Dog's back

How about all the ones that closed that didn't have unions?


In the last 10 to 15 years, major stockholders have been driven to increase stock values and dividends. These people have rarely done manual labor. To them, anything not producing the highest production rate or costing more than they want to pay needs to go. It does not matter if its a union or nounion plant.

Boards of directors hire the most aggresive CEOs they can find to make more profits. Plant managers are hired with the same values. Salaried workers are pushed to increase productivity and take on more work as their co-workers are fired to reduce costs. As a result, hourly workers are treated the same. A work injury is is cause for alarm...not for concern of the worker or efforts to make a operation safer... but concern over lost production, increase in insurance costs and the state investigating plant safety. Workers, if listed as "days lost", cost the plant money. Companies now either fire the employee on "refusal to work" or sit a worker near the offices to do light work. Under Ford's ownership, I walked past an employee sitting an empty office puttin small parts together...she hade a leg cast from her ankle to her hip. I'll bet that felt good. He.., even Federal and State tax laws are written for companies to get write offs for closing a plant (either profitable or not) and to get tax breaks in the new communities where they build their plants.

I work at Ventra. We, the UAW workers, see the stress supervisors are under to keep their jobs. To understand how the company treats its workers, keep reading. Numerous employees arrive at their work area and equipment BEFORE offical start time. They are either arranging their supplies where they are easier to reach or start working at their jobs. They DO NOT get paid or acknowledged for doing this.

However, if they are not at their work area BEFORE the bells ring, they are written up. Other times, an empoleey will help a co-worker (in another department) push a 200 lb. container into place. Again, the salaried employees do not thank them, but threaten to write them up for them being out their work area. I am talking about three of five feet outside their work area!

To people agaisnt unions, look in the newspapers under employment opportunities. You will read job descriptions stating: "Must be able to lift 75 to 100 lbs repeatedly for 8 to 12 hour shift". And doctors wonder why there is a national increase in back injuries and workmens compensation cases. Don't believe me, then just count the number of workmens compensation lawyers who advertise on television. I called the Ohio State Department of Safety years ago (while working for another company in Erie County) to report a salaried employee was forced to run a machine with the safety guard broken off. The UAW union worker had the right to refuse doing this because of the union contract. The person at the DOS told me they needed my name because they needed it to file a complaint with the company and the company had the right to know who reported them. I was told I would possibly be fired, because there is NO state law protecting workers reporting unsfety working conditions. For those non-union workers who believe we are pampered and tell the company they will do what they want, then come by our guard house and fill out an application, especially you salaried people.

Oh, by the way, I worked as a salaried, middle management employee for more than 25 year and had my work load increased requiring me to work 12 to 19 hours a day, including weekends. While working for a Japanese plant for three years, I worked 7 days a week from January 2 to March 25 a minimum of 10 to 19 hours a day.

Unions do have wake up, help push legilation through right to strike without being replaced by temporary workers. Restrict "temporary employment" to 90 days. And to stop companies from moving either out of their current location to anywhere else. This is simple to do. Years ago, the Federal government required strip mines to return land to its original geography when they closed the mines. Do the same with all companies, unless they can show lack of land for expansion. Require the company to try to get another business to buy the plant, and for the next 9 years, companies would have to pay local taxes on a decling rate of 10% ayear. At this time, the company would be required to level their buildings and return the land to its original condition. Even in those cases, companies would be required to offer the first jobs to its former workers.

Just wanted to express some of my experiences and ideas to make this a country a better place for ALL workers.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Thank you for your point of view, it did a lot more to try and explain things than I have seen elsewhere. My only point of contention would be the (in my opinion) severe building restrictions offered at the end of the comment. While it would be an incentive to NOT leave it is also an incentive to not even build. On top of that any exception to the rule can be explained, whiddled, and cheesed up to meet the qualification of "lack of land". Plus, if a community doesn't have to compete to keep businesses we see a GOB atmosphere and lazy/abusive practices in the government.

looking around

Jak5Jon great cometary and one that should be chosen and reprinted in the printed version of the paper as many other comments from the digital blog are. The anti union folks just don't seem to understand that the American worker be it salaried or hourly are under attack. You make many excellent points and I personally thank you for taking the time to attempt to enlighten these people.


Re: "help push legilation (sp)..."

They read like great ways to effectively kill current and new business expansion.

Small business tends to be the generator of most new jobs in the U.S. and it is declining.


It is a real shame that this plant had to go by way of the union. It is also a shame that the employees never knew that the company was going to purchase property in Fort Wayne,In a few years back. Now that this has happened, the flood gates have now been opened and with the way business is today ,I am sure that the property will be looked over again. Good Luck with all that.


I am really surprised that this vote came out like it did. They all work in an "air conditioned" facility, clean, neat, this company does ALOT for their employees. They all make well over minimum wage. What they don't understand is that there is NOT one skilled trade in any of their jobs.

The main organizers are from the "Entitlement" generation, they want it all with less work. Many of these so call union supporters are people who came from plants that have closed due to union organization, you would think there would be a lesson learned here. There are many woman who work there because of the hours & they have small children. Do they realize that these part time positions will all probably be dissolved in order to create full time positions??? (The union will make more money off the full time) & They want "respect"? - you will not see that word in a union contract . That is something that has to be earned.
There is no management anywhere that is perfect & I would think the fact that this is a "privately owned & DEBT FREE" company would be enough so called job security in this day & age. Usually the ones who are yelling "Job Security" are the ones who have gotten themselves in a bad position due to attendance issues or their behavior.

I do hope Freudenberg NOK wins out in the final decision, but it would also be entertaining to see these employees follow a "contract" - it's in black & white... I can hear it now...

looking around

You think that air conditioning you speak of was installed to keep the employees comfortable....LOL, you are naive.

The Big Dogs ba...

Freudenberg...coming to a right to work state near you.

The Big Dog's back

Using my name again pooh?