After a contentious organizing drive, hourly workers at a Flex-N-Gate Corp. plant in Arlington, Texas, voted last week to join the UAW.
The bumper supplier, which has more than 12,000 employees at 59 sites worldwide, has been a high-profile target of the UAW.
UAW members at Flex-N-Gate plants in Warren, Mich., and Belvidere, Ill., have been trying to negotiate a new contract since February. The UAW contends the company won't bargain in good faith.
In the past, Arlington workers have been illegally terminated or disciplined for trying to unionize the plant, according to the National Labor Relations Board.
Of the 73 employees eligible to vote, 51 voted in favor of union representation and 22 opposed, the NLRB said. The NLRB conducted the election.
Flex-N-Gate, which is owned by Shahid Khan, a Pakistan-born billionaire who also owns the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, of Florida, has until Wednesday, May 8, to file objections to the vote.
"This is a good day for the workers at this plant," UAW President Bob King said in a statement. "This strong vote clearly shows that workers at this facility believe joining the UAW is the right choice."
If the company doesn't file any objections, the board will issue a certification confirming the union as the bargaining representative of the employees, said Ofelia Gonzalez, assistant to the director of the NLRB's office in Fort Worth, Texas.
In a statement, Flex-N-Gate signaled it plans to honor the vote's outcome. "Our employees have always had the freedom of choice to organize, and we will always respect the decision they make," the company said. "We look forward to continued success with all of our employees in Arlington."
The Arlington plant sequences products for General Motors' nearby Arlington assembly plant.