Judge orders Fuyao to produce employee records


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Judge orders Fuyao to produce employee records

Although the United Auto Workers lost its campaign to form a new bargaining unit at Fuyao Glass America’s Moraine plant last year, it appears to have been on the winning side of a court battle with the company recently.

A court last week gave Fuyao 21 days to respond to a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) application for employee records.

The order was filed March 5, meaning the documents are due March 26.

Spurred by a UAW complaint, in November 2016, the NLRB asked a federal court in Dayton to order Fuyao to provide documents in an investigation of the company.

An attorney for Fuyao at the time called the subpoena for information too broad, calling it a “fishing expedition.”

In May 2016, the United Auto Workers (UAW) filed a charge against Fuyao with the NLRB, alleging that the company discharged an employee, Adam Moffitt, “because of his support” for the UAW, a union that in 2017 fought and lost a representation campaign to form a new local unit at Fuyao’s Moraine complex.

In a November 2017 election, Fuyao’s local workforce rejected the UAW’s bid handily by a 2-1 margin.

But well before that election, in late 2016, the NLRB filed a request in federal court, asking that Fuyao be made to provide employee records. The NLRB was investigating whether the company disciplined or punished other UAW supporters or treated employees who didn’t support the union differently.

Now, the case appears to be approaching some resolution.

During legal hearings in the case, a former human resources executive at the company, Eric Vanetti, argued that about 800 people worked in the plant’s ARG (After-market Replacement Glass) department at one point, which made producing detailed records difficult.

According to a court filing, Vanetti at one point said he “inherited a mess” when he joined Fuyao. 

However, the court found that producing records for employees supervised by one particular supervisor would not be “unduly burdensome.”

“Fuyao is pleased that the court concluded that the National Labor Relations Board’s original subpoena was overbroad,” said Columbus attorney Michael Short, who represents Fuyao in the case. “Fuyao continues to work with the NLRB to assist it in concluding its investigation.”

Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Walter Rice ordered Fuyao to produce to the NLRB contact information, attendance records, all discipline and discharge records for all employees who worked in the Moraine plant’s ARG department under the supervision of Dondi Osgood since Sept. 1, 2015.

An attorney for the NLRB referred questions to the NLRB. 

Fuyao Glass America has about 2,000 employees at its Moraine plant, which it calls the largest auto glass production facility in the world.

Fuyao Glass America has about 2,000 employees at its Moraine plant, which it calls the largest auto glass production facility in the world. TY GREENLEES / STAFF Staff Writer
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