Fuyao Leaders Respond To UAW Unionization Efforts
Fuyao Glass America in Moraine is responding to news that employees have filed a petition to unionize under the United Auto Worker’s banner.
The move to unionize Fuyao is backed by the UAW and perhaps 30 percent or more of company workers. They have filed an application for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board, or NLRB. If the NLRB approves the petition, it will schedule a vote for Fuyao workers to decide whether or not to unionize.
The UAW had previously stated it would not file a petition until the Fuyao effort had at least 30 percent of workers behind the unionization effort. Even with the filing, the UAW would not confirm exactly how many workers have so far signed the petition.
In a conference call with reporters Tuesday, the UAW’s Rich Rankin says the employees’ petition cited concerns, including workplace safety conditions, wages, benefits and communication with company leadership.
“They’re not being treated fairly, they’re not being treated with the decency and respect that American workers should be treated with,” he said.
In a company statement, Fuyao executive Tim Reynolds said the Moraine plant only became profitable a few months ago. He said the plant's accomplishments to date have been achieved without the help of a union.
Fuyao's statement says company officials respect the right of employees to unionize.
In 2014, Fuyao took over a major portion of the former GM assembly plant, which had been sitting empty for six years. Since then Fuyao has hired around 2,000 workers.
In 2016, workers filed a list of complaints, with help from the UAW, with the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration, known as OSHA.
The complaints alleged safety issues and a lack of emergency procedures at the Fuyao plant.
At the time, Fuyao's then-president John Gauthier said the company's quick start-up was somewhat to blame for any oversights made by the company. Fuyao was subsequently fined by OSHA and ordered to improve conditions.
In the released statement Tuesday, current Fuyao Glass America President, Jeff Daochuan Liu said the company would prefer keeping a direct relationship with workers, rather than communication through a union.
Read Fuyao's full statement:
Moraine, Ohio, October 17, 2017 – Fuyao Glass America Inc. (Fuyao) was notified yesterday that The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) has filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a union election at Fuyao’s manufacturing facility in Moraine, outside of Dayton, Ohio. If the NLRB approves the petition, it will schedule a vote for certain Fuyao associates to decide whether they wish to be represented by a union, or maintain their rights and direct relationship with Fuyao. Fuyao believes that maintaining this direct relationship is in the best interest of our associates, customers, business partners, the State of Ohio, and the Dayton community in which we operate. “Fuyao is among the first large Chinese manufacturers to establish significant operations in the United States,” said Jeff Daochuan Liu, Fuyao Glass America President. “Other investors are watching us closely and what happens here.” Since beginning operations two years ago in a shuttered General Motors facility, Fuyao has worked to foster a safe, positive, and productive work environment. With industry-leading wages, benefits, and hourly incentive plans, Fuyao’s success in this regard has been a result of Fuyao’s listening to what is important to its workforce. “We became profitable only months ago,” said Tim Reynolds, Vice President, OEM Operations. “This achievement has not been because of a third party like the UAW. It has been the result of teamwork – our folks coming together, learning how to design, make, and ship good glass and driving improvements in safety and efficiency.” With over 2 million square feet under roof, Fuyao’s Moraine facility is the largest automotive glass fabrication plant in the world. We respect the right of our associates to right to choose for themselves whether or not they are represented by a union.