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Workers at CTNA Mount Vernon plant to vote for unionization

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Employees at Continental Tire North America Inc.´s (CTNA) Mount Vernon, Ill., plant will begin voting today in an attempt to unionize the facility.

A majority vote of more than 50% would give the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) "the right to start negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement with the company," according to USWA spokesman Wayne Ranick.

Some 1,200 workers at the factory would be covered by such an agreement, he says.

CTNA can contest election results with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), he says.

The USWA has made previous attempts to unionize the Mount Vernon facility through elections, first in February 1998 and then in late 2002.

Ealier this week, the USWA filed a charge with the NLRB accusing CTNA of trying to "intimidate" workers in Mount Vernon by suspending tire production at the company´s Mayfield, Ky., plant.

Union officials call the Mayfield suspension, which is slated to take place by the end of the year, "illegal."

Elections in Mount Vernon wrap up this Saturday.

Mount Vernon is CTNA´s only non-unionized plant. Its Charlotte, N.C., and Bryan, Ohio, facilities are covered by USWA contract.

The 31-year-old Mount Vernon plant can produce 24,700 passenger and nearly 3,000 medium truck tires per day at capacity, according to Modern Tire Dealer data.

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