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TPI employees to vote by secret ballot today, Wednesday on Union Organization

TPI encourages 100 percent participation

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013 10:55 a.m. CDT

The employees of TPI Composites will be voting by secret ballot today and Wednesday on the question of joining the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

The process began two years ago when a group of employees approached IBEW about wanting to organize, but the movement died out. This past spring, a group of TPI workers believed they had enough employees ready to move forward.

“Their main concerns were in regards to safety, attendance policy, and how it was arbitrary that one individual determined employee raises,” IBEW Membership Development Coordinator Brian Heins said.

During the summer, enough authorization cards were filled out to hold the election. The process takes 40 days to hold the election.

“We were slowed down a bit by the government shut down,” Heins said “The authorization cards are needed to show the government that an election is needed.”

IBEW will need a 50 percent plus one vote of those who vote to enter into contract negotiations with TPI. The election results will be announced late Wednesday night.

Terri Rock, human resource officer at TPI Composites, released a statement with regard to the election.

“On Dec. 10 and 11, employees at TPI Iowa will have the opportunity to vote in a secret-ballot election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board. The election is being held to determine whether employees wish to be represented for the purposes of collective bargaining by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 347.

“TPI respects the rights our associates have to consider union membership and we are encouraging all of our associates to vote in the election. However, while we are not anti-union, we do believe that a direct relationship between management and associates provides the best opportunity for us to work together to meet the needs of our customers.

“Over the past several weeks, we have engaged our associates in discussions about the union issue in an effort to ensure that they have all the information necessary to make an informed choice about unionization. As part of our communication effort, we have encouraged 100 percent participation in the upcoming election.”

Staff writer Zach Johnson may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 425, or at zjohnson@newtondailynews.com.

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