A dispute over ISO certification and a total quality management program nearly led to a union decertification at a thermoset injection molder. In a 15-11 vote, workers at Rem-Tronics Inc. in Silver Creek, N.Y., elected Feb. 15 to continue their representation by the United Steelworkers of America.
Negotiations between Rem-Tronics and the union continued last week over renewal of a three-year labor contract that expires April 4.
The plant is located 30 miles south of Buffalo on the edge of Lake Erie.
Jeff Kryszak, the company's general manager, said a decertification effort was undertaken after union officials publicly said they would not support starting a total quality management program and the company's seeking of the ISO 9002 certification.
``The company was neutral [on the union's continued employee representation] until statements against TQM were made,'' Kryszak said. ``Once I saw the future of the company was jeopardized, I had to take a stand'' against the union, he said.
Despite the election results, the company plans to move ahead with the total quality management program and ISO efforts, Kryszak said.
James Bickhart, USWA staff representative from Buffalo who was managing union affairs in the Rem-Tronics case, was not available for comment.
Sandra Dunbar, National Labor Relations Board acting regional director, said Rem-Tronics' petition was filed Jan. 23 with the NLRB.
That date falls within a 60- to 90-day window before the expiration of a current contract in which such filings are permitted, Dunbar said. Employees may also file for decertification if no union contract exists, Dunbar said.
Rem-Tronics does thermoset overmolding of electromagnetic windings, some insert molding, and thermoset transfer molding for the aerospace industry, Kryszak said.