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Wheeling-Nisshin workers vote.

Wheeling--Nisshin workers vote Union efforts to organize foreign-controlled facilities in domestic industries moved forward when employees of the Wheeling--Nisshin Steel Co. in Follansbee, WV, voted 39 to 20 for representation by the United Steelworkers. A union official who had been trying to organize the plant since it opened in April 1988, believes the balloting was strongly influenced by the size of the initial profit-sharing distribution at the plant, which had ranged from $3 to $300, instead of the $1,800 employees had expected. The company's president explained that the employees were not scheduled to receive a share of profits until after 1989, but the company decided on an earlier pay-out after it attained profitability in the fourth quarter of 1988, based on operating results for the full year. He said the company would not contest the election results and was prepared to negotiate an initial labor contract. Prior to the contract, employee earnings averaged $10.20 an hour plus benefits.

The highly automated mill is unusual because 48 of the 64 employees in the bargaining unit hold 2- or 4-year college degrees. Most of them completed their advanced education after losing jobs in the steel and coal industries.

Wheeling--Nisshin Steel Co. produces galvanized steel. The plant is 70-percent owned by Nisshin--Steel Co., a Japanese firm; the remainder is owned by Wheeling--Pittsburgh Steel Co.
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Title Annotation:Developments in Industrial Relations
Author:Ruben, George
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Aug 1, 1989
Previous Article:Toshiba American accord.
Next Article:Mack Truck employees vote.

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