By Doug Cunningham
According to the National Labor Relations Board, Fuyao—a Chinese auto glass company—is violating the labor rights of American workers at it’s Moraine Ohio plant.
The labor board says Fuyao “has been interfering with, restraining and coercing employees in the exercise of their rights.”
Ralph Martin is one of the workers backing the UAW organizing drive in the former GM plant now owned by Fuyao.
“It’s the low pay and the treatment we’re getting in there from the company. They’re showin’ a lot of favoritism. They like somebody else better than you and you’ve been there longer, you don’t even get a chance for those jobs—those higher payin’ jobs, try and move up and better yourself and take care of your family.”
Martin adds, “We just want better wages and working environment, be able to take care of our family.”
Jocelyn Johnson-Grant wants to join the UAW so she and co-workers have a real voice and the power to get higher wages than the $12.84 an hour current average wage at the Fuyao plant.
“We are all at will. At any given moment, all of our jobs are out the door. There’s no guarantee that we will not look up tomorrow and the rug will be snatched right out from under us,” Johnson-Grant said.
“I would like to see the pay rate go up. I would also like to see better training, more safety. I want the union because it would give us a platform to stand on. It would give us a contract and a voice,” she added.
Fuyao has been fined hundreds of thousands of dollars by OSHA for safety violations. Fuyao has forced workers to attend anti-union meetings. The company also illegally stopped workers from wearing union logos on their clothes and forced workers to wear company uniforms.
Timi Jernigan is another Fuyao worker supporting the UAW.
“First thing they told us when we hired in was that they believed that there was not a need for a union. When we started the initial organizing campaign, we were walking in wearing union t-shirts. We had hats, little buttons, headbands. Less than a month after that we were getting fitted for uniforms.”
Jernigan says safety is the top issue for him, but he wants a union contract to improve wages, benefits and working conditions too.
“Safety first and foremost because I need a safe work environment. I want to go home the way I came to work. And also in my contract I would want the wage to be something that I can live off of. The organizing effort, it’s an ongoing process. But I believe we will achieve our goal and we will become unionized.”