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FEDERAL COURT ISSUES SWEEPING INJUNCTION AGAINST THE COLONEL'S IN DEFENSE OF UAW WORKERS

 FEDERAL COURT ISSUES SWEEPING INJUNCTION AGAINST THE COLONEL'S
 IN DEFENSE OF UAW WORKERS
 FLINT, Mich., Sept. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- A U.S. District Court judge in Flint has issued a sweeping injunction against The Colonel's, Inc., an automotive bumper manufacturer in Owosso, Mich., announced UAW Region 1C Director Ruben Burks.
 The injunction was issued by Judge Stewart A. Newblatt of U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan-Southern Division. Newblatt was acting upon a petition from the National Labor Relations Board's Region 7 office, aimed at protecting UAW-represented workers in a bitter labor dispute surrounding their efforts to negotiate a first agreement with The Colonel's. The Colonel's is owned by Don Williamson, an unsuccessful candidate in Flint's last mayoral election.
 Burks hailed the injunction, saying, "The NLRB asks for this kind of injunctive relief only in extraordinary situations. These UAW- represented workers have been subjected by The Colonel's to a reign of terror ever since they stood up for their legal rights to join a union. Now, they have the force of federal courts and agencies in support of their quest for justice."
 The federal injunction orders The Colonel's to reinstate more than 24 workers who have been fired by the company in the 14 months since the UAW first sought to organize workers at the plant.
 The struggle by the workers intensified in August 1991, shortly after a majority of The Colonel's employees announced that they wanted to be represented by the UAW. The company reacted by suspending and firing a number of union supporters. On Aug. 20, 1991, the workers struck, and The Colonel's fired all of the strikers. Amid their struggle, management spread horse manure across the area where workers were picketing. The workers received widespread community and labor support for their struggle in the Flint area, including a consumer boycott of Blain Buick, an area car dealership owned by Williamson's wife.
 On Oct. 4, 1991, The Colonel's agreed to recognize and bargain with the UAW, and to reinstate all of the striking workers immediately. However, UAW leaders charged that management abruptly reneged on the agreement, and The Colonel's continued on a union-busting campaign of suspensions, firings and intimidation.
 "In all my years, I have never seen an employer with less respect for workers' rights," said Burks. "I hope that The Colonel's will view the federal injunction as an opportunity to begin to make peace and negotiate equitably with the UAW."
 Judge Newblatt ordered extensive measures of interim relief and affirmative action as part of the injunction, pending a final determination of the NLRB's complaints against The Colonel's, which are scheduled for an NLRB trial on Nov. 30, 1992. In addition to ordering reinstatement of the workers and other measures such as expunging disciplinary actions from personnel files, the injunction requires The Colonel's to bargain in good faith with the UAW, and to cease and desist from interrogating, threatening, harassing or discriminating against employees because of their union activity.
 -0- 9/25/92
 /CONTACT: Karl Mantyla of UAW, 313-926-5291/ CO: United Auto Workers; The Colonel's, Inc. ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:


SM -- DE027 -- 3698 09/25/92 18:13 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 25, 1992
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