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Fuyao employees reject UAW bid by wide margin

Published: Thursday, November 09, 2017 @ 4:40 PM

Fuyao employees reject UAW bid

Employees at Fuyao Glass America voted by a resounding margin Thursday against joining the United Auto Workers, defeating the union’s more than 18-month attempt to organize one of the Dayton area’s fastest growing manufacturers, in a fight that drew the international spotlight.

The final tally was 886 to 441, according to the National Labor Relations Board, which oversaw the election. 

The UAW offered a slightly different tally, but the same outcome: 868 votes against forming a UAW-represented collective bargaining unit, and 444 votes for the union.

There were 1,608 eligible voters at Fuyao, according to Matthew Denholm, assistant regional director for the NLRB in Cincinnati. 

Three ballots were void and 186 were challenged.

“The union did not receive a majority,” Denholm said. 

The NLRB election process gives the UAW a week to challenge the outcome of the election. 

In a statement, the union said workers “reported irregularities during the election which the UAW is investigating, and it may file objections” with the NLRB.

Fuyao is Ohio’s largest Chinese-owned manufacturing operation, anchored in the shell of a former General Motors plant, and the company itself is just over three years old. The Moraine plant makes automotive and safety glass, with the capacity to make glass sets for one of every four vehicles on North American roads.

“We are pleased that (Fuyao) associates chose to maintain a direct relationship with our company and resist the union’s attempt to intervene,” Fuyao President Jeff Daochuan Liu said in a statement. “While we respect our employees’ right to support or reject a union, we also admire their courage to reject this union’s desperate attempt to prop up its revenue in the face of declining union membership worldwide. 

“We look forward to continuing to work closely with (Fuyao) associates to build a great  company here in Moraine and to our success in the auto glass marketplace,” Liu added.

For well over a year, organizers for the UAW have worked to get a foothold at the West Stroop plant.

“It is disheartening to know that in 2017 there are companies willing to do so much to deny workers a voice and fair treatment,” Rich Rankin, director UAW Region 2B said in a statement. “Unfortunately, that is what these brave workers faced when all they have asked for is a fair path to helping this manufacturer produce the best products and live up to their commitments it made to the Dayton community.” 

Fuyao worker Jeremy Grant, a UAW supporter, said he was surprised by the approximately 2-to-1 margain against the union.

“It was fairly shocking,” Grant said. “We were really confident.”

“I thought that the UAW and Fuyao workers could come together and make for a better company,” he added.

Fuyao workers applied to the NLRB for an election last month.

RELATEDWide impact seen from UAW vote at Fuyao

The union hoped to stem a decades long-decline in membership, down to about 416,000 members nationally today, well under a height of about 1.5 million in 1979.

The UAW lost a recognition vote at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee three years ago and lost again at a Nissan plant in Canton Miss. in August.

Still, between 2010 and 2016 in NLRB-sanctioned employer-UAW elections, management won 44 elections and the UAW won 43 elections, according to Kristin Dziczek, director of the Labor and Industry Group at the Ann Arbor-based Center for Automotive Research.

RELATEDUAW vote at Fuyao resumes: What’s really going on?

“They win as many as they lose,” Dziczek told this news outlet recently. “That’s been the case for quite some time.”

Joe Allen, a historian and writer on labor issues, said in an interview before results were announced that a UAW loss in Moraine could be seen as “devastating” for the union.

“When the UAW can’t organize an auto parts plant in Ohio … then what does the future hold for an auto union?” Allen said.

The election has drawn national and international attention. The New York Times ran a story Wednesday exploring the company and its founder, Cho Tak Wong, who is also called Cao DeWang.

“To be brutally honest, up to this moment, my investment in the U.S. has brought no good to Fuyao,“ the Times quoted Cho as saying, apparently based on an interview with him in May.

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Is Dayton’s water supply safe? 5 questions answered for you 

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 10:04 AM

Firefighting foam chemicals found in Dayton wellfield monitoring wells

A new study finds that chemical compounds in firefighting foam — like that once used at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and at the Dayton Fire Training Center — may pose more of a risk in drinking water than previously thought.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study indicates the level of polyfluoralkyl substances, or PFAS, at which health risks might be expected is startlingly close to the 7 to 13 parts per trillion recently detected in water leaving a Dayton plant.

» INVESTIGATION: City working to identify lead pipes in water system

Here are five questions answered:

1. Where the chemicals found?

The chemical compounds turned up in March at Dayton’s Ottawa Water Treatment Plant, the first time the compounds — believed to be safe when below 70 ppt for lifetime exposure — were detected in water after the treatment process.

2. Should residents be worried? 

Michael Powell, director of the city of Dayton Water Department, reiterated Thursday that the public has little to fear, but said the city is stepping up testing — including trying to pinpoint the source of the compounds. The city has more than 300 monitoring wells, adding 80 in the last six months. Already, a number of wells have been shut down in fear of drawing more PFAS into the system.

3. What’s going on with Wright-Patterson’s water supply?

“Ohio believes strongly WPAFB needs to be more proactive to address PFAS at its source before this contamination can impact additional drinking water wells (either Dayton’s or WPAFB’s). Ohio EPA continues to focus on ensuring Dayton’s and WPAFB’s drinking water wells remain below the current U.S. EPA health advisory level in both water systems,” according to a statement to this news organization.

» RELATED: Water danger: Wright-Patt among many military bases where chemicals detected

Base officials responded: “Wright-Patterson is committed to protecting human health and ensuring safe drinking water and continues to comply with Ohio EPA requirements. We expect to award a contract later this month on an expanded site inspection which will include continued quarterly sentinel well monitoring at the base boundary as well as the installation of additional monitoring wells. We will also continue to meet with the Ohio EPA and other stakeholders monthly to share analytical data.”

4. What do public officials have to say about the issue?

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, applauded the release of the draft findings Thursday, which he had pushed the administration to do.

“This is a matter of public health and safety,” Turner said in a statement. “Based on this information, I encourage federal, state, and local environmental regulators to examine whether they are appropriately communicating the risks presented by and adequately addressing the presence of PFOS and PFOA in drinking water. We must ensure agencies at all levels are using the most reliable data and best available science to ensure our drinking water remains safe.”

5. What do the experts say?

Joyce Dinglasan-Panlilio, chair of the Sciences and Mathematics Division and associate professor of environmental chemistry at the University of Washington-Tacoma, said it’s difficult to say whether Dayton’s water can be considered safe or not.

“Having investigated these compounds for a long time now, I do want people to know that these are synthetic compounds that have no known natural sources,” she said in an email Thursday. “Thus, finding them in drinking water at any level should be something we take seriously.”

The Dayton Daily News is comitted to bringing you in-depth investigations on issues that matter in your community. Read reporters Chris Stewart and Thomas Gnau’s special report on water issues in Dayton. 

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JUST IN: Mexican restaurant to build new area location

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 8:57 AM

Contributed
Contributed

La Piñata Mexican Grill & Bar has plans to build a new standalone restaurant in Centerville.

The restaurant has submitted plans to build the restaurant at the intersection of Sheehan Road and Ohio 48 at the site of a former Coldwell Banker location.

» RELATED: Bill’s Donuts to close for renovations

La Piñata has a location just a block away at 1069 S Main St. in the same shopping center as the Kroger Marketplace. City officials said that restaurant will be closed when the new building is built.

Plans show the new restaurant will have an outside patio that will seat 36 and the inside will seat 127. It will also include a new “tequila bar” and will have enough space so that on busy days workers aren’t “trying to play Tetris” to get around the restaurant, said co-owner of the family business Javier Mata.

» RELATED: Wright State to layoff up to 40; expects $10M loss next year

The new location should open by the end of the year at the latest, said Mata. Mata expects the restaurant will need to close for around three days to make the move.

Coldwell Banker Heritage opened a new modern office at 8534 Yankee St. that it renamed it Coldwell Banker at Yankee Centre.

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THANKS FOR READING

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Fifth Third Bank to lay off undisclosed number of employees

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 9:38 AM

In 2016, Fifth Third Bank had nearly 50 branches and 700 employees in the Dayton area. The stadium where the Dayton Dragons play is also named for the bank. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
In 2016, Fifth Third Bank had nearly 50 branches and 700 employees in the Dayton area. The stadium where the Dayton Dragons play is also named for the bank. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF

Fifth Third Bancorp is cutting jobs in the region, bank officials are telling the media.

The company is not discussing the number of employee layoffs or how many are happening in the Dayton area.

No notice of layoffs appeared on the state’s “WARN” (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice Act) notice board of early Friday. Typically, larger companies that lay off 50 or more employees within 30 days are required by law file a WARN notice with the state’s Department of Job and Family Services.

A Fifth Third spokesman said Friday the bank needs to make “adjustments when there is not a good match-up between staffing, market demand and the operating environment.”

RELATEDDayton ‘near and dear’ to heart of Fifth Third CEO

“Fifth Third has long had an approach of managing staff carefully and making ongoing adjustments,” Fifth Third spokesman Larry Magnesen said in an email. “That has helped avoid large, broad-based reductions.”

The Cincinnati-based company is still hiring for certain critical skills, and has about 1,122 open positions. More than 500 of those openings are posted on our a Fifth Third recruiting web site.

“It’s worth noting that the bank’s total employment in greater Cincinnati of about 7,500 employees is up by 800 over the last five years or so (since year-end 2013),” Magnesen said.

MORENew study shows chemical may be a bigger risk to the region

He added: “Clearly, staffing adjustments increase efficiency. That is a priority of the bank in order to invest in the capabilities in terms of expertise and technology to address our customers’ evolving needs.”

Fifth Third mets its goal of closing some 105 branches by June 2016, Greg Carmichael, the bank’s president and chief executive, told this news outlet in August 2016.

At the time, the bank had 47 branches and about 700 employees in the Dayton market.

Fifth Third’s board elected Carmichael, a University of Dayton graduate, its chairman early in 2018.

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Want a cheap weekend trip? Avoid this popular Ohio city 

Published: Thursday, May 10, 2018 @ 10:10 AM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 9:55 AM

Cincinnati Reds Opening Day

Cincinnati is the most expensive destination in the Midwest, according to the latest survey conducted by ChicagoHotels.org.

The survey compared 30 Midwestern cities based on the cost of lodging during May 2018. Most Midwestern cities see their highest visitor numbers during the spring, and hotel rates reach their peak during this time.

» TRENDING NEWS: Basket maker Longaberger Co. is closing: 5 things we learned today

In Cincinnati, travelers will have to spend $186 per night, on average, to stay in the cheapest available double room. It has to be noted that only centrally-located hotels rated at least three stars have been considered by the survey. Dayton didn’t even make the list of cities of traveler destinations.

» TRENDING: What a pickle! Ohio company trying to get rid of 40,000 POUNDS of cucumbers

Rounding out the top three: Madison, Wis. and Ann Arbor, Mich., both with average rates of $184 per night for the cheapest double room. Chicago is surprisingly affordable: it ranks 8th priciest in the Midwest at an average of $157 per night.

This list compares compares 30 destinations in the Midwest based on the average rate for their cheapest available double room (3-stars and above) from May 1–31, 2018:

  1. Cincinnati, OH $186
  2. Madison, WI $184
  3. Ann Arbor, MI $184
  4. Fort Wayne, IN $179
  5. Grand Rapids, MI $174
  6. Indianapolis, IN $169
  7. Kansas City, MO $164
  8. Chicago, IL $157
  9. Columbus, OH $147
  10. Detroit, MI $141
  11. Des Moines, IA $135
  12. Cleveland, OH $134
  13. Omaha, NE $134
  14. Peoria, IL $129
  15. Rockford, IL $124
  1. Lincoln, NE $124
  2. Saint Paul, MN $121
  3. Saint Louis, MO $117
  4. Springfield, MO $117
  5. Rochester, MN $112
  6. Minneapolis, MN $107
  7. Sioux Falls, SD $107
  8. Springfield, IL $107
  9. Cedar Rapids, IO $105
  10. Milwaukee, WI $104
  11. Bismarck, ND $104
  12. Toledo, OH $94
  13. Green Bay, WI $94
  14. Topeka, KS $97
  15. Wichita, KS $87

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