Another union bid to represent a transplant U.S. parts maker failed this month. On Aug. 20, workers at Calsonic-Yorozu Corp. in Morrison, Tenn., rejected representation by the United Steelworkers by a vote of 431-232.
The company, a joint venture between Japan's Calsonic Corp., Yorozu Corp. and Sumitomo Corp., supplies metal chassis parts for engines, brakes, exhausts, radiators and instrument panels.
It supplies several Japanese transplant automakers, as well as Ford Motor Co., Saturn Corp. and Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc. in Vance, Ala.
The loss is the latest in a growing list of setbacks for U.S. labor unions trying to organize the factories of foreign-owned automakers and their suppliers.
In the past year, the UAW failed twice to organize suppliers in Alabama that deliver parts to Mercedes-Benz in Vance.
Earlier this year, the Teamsters union declared its intent to organize Honda of America Manufacturing Inc.'s auto plants in Ohio. That effort ground to a halt over the summer, and organizers have disappeared from the plants.
At the same time, the Teamsters stated their intention to represent a nearby Honda metal-stamping supplier, Japanese-owned Jefferson Industries Corp. That contest went to an election on July 22, which the union lost by a vote of 223-70.
The UAW itself suffered a setback this year when DaimlerChrysler officials refused to support the union's campaign to organize Mercedes' plant in Vance.
The effort also was hurt by the Aug. 8 death of Jack Laskowski. As vice president of the UAW's Chrysler Department, Laskowski had been managing the organizing drive when he died of a heart attack at age 59.