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UPDATE | Organizers say Vallourec spent thousands on anti-union campaign

Published: Thu, January 23, 2014 @ 10:22 a.m.

YOUNGSTOWN — After three days of voting, Vallourec plant workers have rejected an effort to join the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America.

The vote was 367-148, a union official said this morning. Voting started Tuesday and wrapped up at 8 a.m. today.

The National Labor Relations Board supervised the election at the old and new mills at the Vallourec property. Both sides learned the result before 9 a.m.

Karen Hardin, a spokeswoman for the UE International, blamed the loss on an aggressive anti-union campaign, in which the company spent “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to defeat the organizing effort.

“We ran a very respectful, a very honest campaign,” she said.

Pro-union employees said last week the vote was the result of a nearly yearlong organizing effort aimed at protecting worker wages, benefits and other concerns.

Judson Wallace, president of Vallourec Star, had said in a statement at the time that unionization would benefit neither the company nor its employees.

“While we support the rights of employees to choose whether they wish to organize a union, we do not believe this would add value, foster teamwork or add to the competitiveness of the company,” Wallace said.

“Vallourec Star employees enjoy competitive wage rates and positive working conditions, which they receive without a union,” he said.

Vallourec produces steel pipes for the oil and gas industry.

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