Judge Rules VT Hackney Violated Workers’ Rights in Union Election

CONTACT: R.J. Hufnagel, (412) 562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

PITTSBURGH – An administrative law judge has ordered the National Labor Relations Board Region 6 director to hold a new union vote for workers at the VT Hackney truck and trailer plant in Montgomery, Pa., after finding that the company committed unfair labor practices by interfering in a United Steelworkers (USW) election at the plant in June 2017.

In his April 19 decision, Robert A. Ringler stated that the company unlawfully removed union literature from work stations, interrogated workers about union activities, and solicited workers to present grievances in order to discourage them from joining the USW.

Hackney employs about 200 hourly workers who are eligible to become members of the USW.

In the ruling, Ringler singled out testimony from the company’s union-busting consultant, Charles Stephenson, as particularly damaging to Hackney’s case.

“Stephenson was a slick and, unfortunately, deceitful witness,” Ringler wrote. “His contention that his sole goal was to kindly educate workers as a neutral was preposterous, given that Hackney paid him to present its lawful stance against unionization.”

Ringler ordered the company to cease its unfair labor practices and to share copies of his findings with workers, both electronically and in postings around the factory.

“The employees at Hackney deserve what all working people deserve: a voice on the job, fair and equal treatment from their employer, and fair wages and benefits,” said USW District 10 Director Bobby “Mac” McAuliffe. “We’re pleased that this ruling will allow them the chance to decide their fate for themselves without any undue and illegal influence from their employer.”

The company has said it is considering appealing the decision to federal court.

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.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Wayne Ranick at 412-562-2444

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor Jim McKay

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

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