Union, nurses add a twist

They protest at Reynolds shareholders session

The annual shareholders meeting at Reynolds American Inc. is usually a low-key gathering. Yesterday’s meeting was no different except for the small protests outside.

Before the meeting, about 20 labor-union supporters passed out fliers on the sidewalk outside the Reynolds American Plaza Building on Main Street, alleging that company officials are threatening to move cigarette production out of Forsyth County, a charge that the company denied.
 
Production workers at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.’s Whitaker Park and Tobaccoville plants are scheduled to vote next week on whether to unionize.
 
Separately, a union official filed an unfair-labor-practices complaint against Reynolds Tobacco on behalf of several workers. The United Tobacco Alliance for a Voice and Freedom has been helping workers in the unionization campaign ahead of the vote next week.
 
The union alleges that the company has issued “thinly veiled” threats to move production out of the area to Mexico and Puerto Rico if workers voted to unionize.

“Reynolds executives are breaking the law in the vicious anti-union tactics they’re using, and we think their shareholders need to know,” Bob Wood, a spokesman for United Tobacco Alliance, said before the shareholders meeting. Read the entire Winston-Salem Journal article here.