Elkton workers reject machinists' union for 7th time in a row At issue were benefits and lost seniority rights

August 03, 1991

For the seventh time in 25 years, workers at the Elkton division of Thiokol Corp. have rejected a bid for union representation.

In a vote conducted Thursday by the National Labor Relations Board, employees of the Cecil County rocket plant voted 154-to-65 against the International Association of Machinists. About 230 production, maintenance, technical and clerical employees were eligible to vote in the secret balloting.

The plant produces the STAR series of solid propellant rockets for space missions.

The machinists' union lost a previous vote at the plant in 1986. Other national unions were involved in previous organizing efforts at Thiokol since 1968, when the Mine Workers lost an election.

"In 40 years of Labor Board elections, I don't know of a case where the union came to bat seven times and struck out," Earle K. Shawe, whose law firm represented the company, said yesterday. James Lauter, organizer for the Machinists, said that reduced benefits and loss of seniority rights were among the issues that caused employees to seek union representation.

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