July 7, 2006 – In a brief filed July 6, 2006, AK Steel officials continued their schemes to drag out the process in which AEIF members currently locked out by the steel company and seeking representation from the IAM.
In the brief, delivered to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Regional Director, AK Steel states that the decision by the Board on how the election process is to be conducted “under these circumstances will be nothing short of a travesty.”
Publicly AK Steel has stated that their “goal is very simply to reach an agreement with the bargaining unit for the Middletown production and maintenance employees.” “Who represents them is a matter for the AEIF employees; it’s not a matter for AK Steel.”
However, in the brief filed Thursday, AK Steel states, “the AEIF and the IAM thus are aligned against the Employer (AK Steel) and the challenging USW.”
Other inclusions from the filing include AK Steel likening the voting location of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall to a common bowery on several occasions.
“An election held at a bar/meeting hall, that is used by one of the parties for its meetings on a regular basis, will chill voter turnout and result in objectionable conduct affecting the outcome of this election, which in turn will result in additional waste of Board resources all without ‘effectuating the purposes of the Act.”
“The Regional Office has proposed to conduct manual balloting at a location closely associated with the AEIF, that has inadequate parking, some of which will be used during voting hours by those who will fuel their emotions at the bar that is part of the facility.”
“The VFW Hall is closely aligned with one of the parties to the election, has limited parking, and will almost certainly involve consumption of alcohol in an affiliated facility after – if not before – voting occurs.”
The Veterans of Foreign Wars traces its roots as far back as 1899 and few organizations have had a more lasting presence in communities across the United States. Boasting 2.4 million members in over 9,000 VFW Posts worldwide its mission is to “honor the dead by helping the living” through veterans’ service, community service, national security and a strong national defense.
Hardly the vehicle for members of the AEIF, the VFW and the community to “fuel their emotions” via alcohol or other means.
The actions taken by AK Steel via filing an objection in this manner coupled by the drawn out approach taken since the lockout pales in comparison to statements of neutrality by the company previously. AK Steel spokesman Alan McCoy said the company has not taken a position on which union it prefers, saying, “who represents that bargaining unit is a matter for the AEIF and its members.”
The time for AK Steel to step aside and let the people vote has arrived.
Download a printable copy of the entire brief here.