Nine reinstated at Hyundai Rotem plant

Written by Douglas John Bowen

The National Labor Relations Board has approved a settlement of unfair-labor-practice charges against Hyundai Rotem USA Corp. and TTA Philadelphia L.L.C. The charges were brought by Transport Workers Union Local 234.

The union representing railcar-assembly workers at Hyundai Rotem’s South Philadelphia factory has won reinstatement and back pay for nine fired workers, as well as more time to negotiate a labor contract with the manufacturer.

Hyundai Rotem is assembling 120 Silverliner 5 electric multiple-unit (EMU) cars for the Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA). Friction between management and labor, some of it reportedly racially charged, appears to have hindered on-time delivery of the Silverliner 5 order.

Last year the plant’s work force complained to the NLRB that they were singled out for unfair discipline and more stringent enforcement of attendance and rest-break policies than nonunion employees. The NLRB agreed.

The settlement, approved Friday, requires Hyundai Rotem to offer reinstatement to the nine fired workers and to pay them a total of about $95,000. Fifty-four other employees who were disciplined will have their disciplinary records cleared.Hyundai Rotem also has agreed to extend for six months the period during which the union and company are to reach a labor deal. The new deadline is Feb. 16.

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