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Lawmakers, Business Leaders Weigh In On Fuyao Union Efforts

Fuyao
Jerry Kenney
/
WYSO

More than a dozen state republican lawmakers are urging Fuyao Glass America workers not to unionize. Last week, workers at the Moraine plant applied for authorization with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). They cited safety issues and a lack of communication with company leadership.

State Representative Niraj Antani represents Ohio’s 42nd district, which includes Miamisburg. He penned an open letter to workers at Fuyao, which was then signed by 14 other Republican lawmakers, including State Senators Peggy Lehner of Kettering, and Bill Beagle of Tipp City. State Representatives Bill Dean (R-Xenia), Candice Keller (R-Middletown), and George Lang (R-West Chester) also signed the document.

Antani says he and the other lawmakers hope Fuyao workers and leaders can work out their issues together, without the help of a union.

“We understand that this is the choice of the workers at Fuyao but we want to let them know that we are confident in the Fuyao’s leadership. Obviously, the state played a big role in bringing Fuyao to Ohio,” he said.

The union effort follows a series of safety issues at Fuyao. In 2015, through 2016, employees alledged safety issues and subsequently filed complaints with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The agency determined that Fuyao was in violation of safety standards and fined the company more than $220,000. Those fines were eventually reduced to $100,000.

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Credit Jerry Kenney
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Fuyao reportedly resolved those safety issues earlier this year. But in June, OSHA cited Fuyao for more safety violations. The new citations totaled nealy $40,000.

A statement released by Fuyao last week said the company respects the right of employees to unionize but also urged them not to bring in third-party representation.

 

Earlier in October, 32 lawmakers, business leaders and union officials wrote a letter to Fuyao President Jeff Daochuan Liu supporting the workers efforts to unionize.

Fuyao Glass America employs nearly 2,000 employees at the former GM Moraine Assembly Plant.

 

If the NLRB approves the petition, it will schedule a vote for Fuyao workers to decide whether or not to unionize.

The letter Republican lawmakers wrote to Fuyao workers:

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The letter Democratic lawmakers, business leaders, and union officials wrote to Fuyao:

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Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.