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UAW Fight Heats Up as Honda Accused by NLRB of Anti-Union Activity

by | June 21, 2024

National Labor Relations Board accused Japanese automaker Honda of engaging in activities aimed at discouraging union organization activities. The agency offered several examples of the behavior. Honda officials say they look forward to the hearing.

Honda been accused of trying to discourage union organizing activities at its Greensburg, Indiana plant.

According to the agency, the automaker mandated workers remove United Auto Workers (UAW) stickers from safety helmets, unlawfully surveilled employees and threated to discipline union supporters, Reuters reported.

It is illegal to prevent workers to engage in organizing activities. In this case, the charges were filed against Honda’s operations in Greensburg, Indiana. An administrative judge will hold a hearing in October, unless Honda agrees to a settlement first. That ruling can be reviewed by the board, and then appealed to federal appeals courts.

Charges filed

Honda officials said the charges were without merit, adding that the allegations weren’t a surprise either.

“Filing unfair labor practice charges [is] a common tactic used by the union to generate publicity and attention for their organizing campaigns,” a Honda spokesperson said. The UAW hasn’t commented on the filing by the NLRB.

Honda officials refuted the claims levied against the company, saying the charges are without merit.

The Greensburg plant employs more than 2,400 hourly workers. They produce the Honda Civic and Civic Hatchback, the CR-V and CR-V hybrid, and Honda Insight Hybrid at the 15-year-old plant. It’s one of five Honda plants in the U.S.

Honda is the latest target of the United Auto Workers union, which is looking to expand after securing a record new contract for hourly workers at General Motors, Ford and Stellantis. UAW President Shawn Fain wasted no time trying to carry the momentum over to organizing the foreign transplants and Tesla.

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Mixed success

Since the union’s begun organizing activities at transplants across the southeastern U.S. as well as Tesla, the results have been mixed. UAW officials, led by Fain, have repeatedly said they’ve been welcomed warmly by workers.

UAW Pres. Shawn Fain speaks REL

UAW President Shawn Fain Has made organizing the “transplants” a top priority.

That appears to have been true at Volkswagen of America’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant where the union secured a victory in the vote for UAW representation. The plant, which has been the site of previous votes, never quite made the leap until this year, after the unprecedented deals signed with the Detroit Three.

However, the union’s victory march was short, after the 5,000 workers at Mercedes-Benz’s plant in Vance, Alabama voted against union representation. The state’s highly anti-union politicians came out in force to bad mouth Fain and the UAW.

Since then, the UAW has asked the NLRB to order a new election, alleging the luxury car maker committed various violations of workers’ rights. The union has also filed complaints against VW and Hyundai, accusing each company of interfering in the union campaigns.


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