USW Seeks Labor Secretary’s Help in Dispute with Korean Tire Company

Kumho’s Illegal Tactics Violated Georgia Workers’ Rights

CONTACT: Ben Davis (412) 562-2501

PITTSBURGH (Nov. 8) – The United Steelworkers (USW) union is calling on the U.S. Secretary of Labor to use the labor chapter of the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement in a dispute with Kumho Tire, a Korean company.

In a letter to Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, USW International President Leo W. Gerard said that “illegal tactics by the company have effectively limited the freedom of association and effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining for the U.S. workers at the Kumho facility” in Macon, Ga.  

The union wrote to Acosta to request a formal consultation with the Korean government under the labor chapter of the trade agreement.

The USW narrowly lost an election at Kumho Tire in Macon in October. The union filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board accusing the company of illegal conduct during the election, including the firing of a union supporter. The union representing Kumho Tire’s three plants in Korea sent messages of support to the workers at the Georgia facility.

Kumho Tire’s $450 million plant in Georgia, which supplies nearby Hyundai, Kia and Chrysler auto plants, opened in 2016.  The company, which has experienced economic difficulties, is currently controlled by a committee of creditors led by the Korean Development Bank, a Korean government entity.

An online copy of the letter can be found HERE.

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors.  

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Media Contacts

Communications Director:
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USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor Jim McKay

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Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

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United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222