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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.

This is a breaking news story. Watch Vindy.com for updates.


1redeye1(5679 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

You LOST! Quit the damn whining already. The smart ones prevailed.

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2chazz53071(6 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Sour Grapes. Karen Hardin will have to find someone else to pay her bills. The workers of Vallourec won't be doing it.

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3walter_sobchak(2728 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Wow! A 70/30 vote against the need to organize. If the company truly spent "hundreds of thousands of dollars", which is doubtful, I would say they were very effective. But, no matter how you look at it, the UE International has been b!tch-slapped by the workers!

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4YtownParent(1087 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Too bad the NLRB is still denying the workers at Exall the right to vote down the USWA that they don't want either.

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5DennisBowserJr(1 comment)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

No excuses, the majority has spoken!

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6Philo(99 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

The fact that this vote to unionize failed in Youngstown Ohio is a watershed event! We may have just turned a corner! The attitude towards unions are changing, even here. We see more and more companies choosing to locate their operations in states where workers are not forced to join a union just to have a job. I believe it may be time for a statewide ballot to make Ohio a right to work state. If you want to join a union, that's fine. If not, you shouldn't be forced to. It's all about personal freedom and the right to choose. Otherwise, investors will locate their operations to other, more progressive states like Indiana and Michigan, who are both right to work states.

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