COMPILING THE DATA

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AKRON, OHIO — The National Labor Relations Board keeps track of union elections it certifies and has that information in computerized form dating back to 1984.

Those records list all of the elections the NLRB certified in each year, along with information about the circumstances of the elections and the industries in which they were held.

Some elections that were held are not recorded in the ``certified'' database because there can be a time lag — of several years, in some cases — between the election and when the NLRB certifies it.

Plastics News analyzed the available records, focusing on those elections held in plants with the 307 and 308 Standard Industrial Classification numbers.

The 308 designation includes producers of a variety of plastic products and custom compounders. The 307 number classifies the same businesses as 308, it was just changed to 308 in 1987.

Unfortunately, SIC codes can be misleading — or even wrongly reported.

Plastics News did not sort through the more than 48,000 elections records looking for plastics facilities that may have been missed in the search for the 308 code, or those included in 308 that should have been classified elsewhere.

But the results of the analysis are fairly representative of the plastics industry as a whole.