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Appeals court lifts requirement for Novelis to bargain with union

Payne Horning
WRVO News File Photo
The Novelis aluminum plant in Oswego County supplies metal for automobiles.

A U.S. appeals court has overturned a ruling that would have required Novelis, an Oswego County aluminum plant, to work with its employees on forming a union.

"We are very pleased with the ruling to reverse the August 2016 bargaining order of the National Labor Relations Board, which would have forced employees at the Novelis Oswego facility to accept the United Steelworkers as their bargaining representative," said plant manager Kevin Shutt in a statement. "We look forward to continuing to partner with our employees to serve our customers."

The case dates back to 2014, when Novelis employees voted to not create a chapter of the United Steelworkers Union. Those results were later reversed in two separate rulings from a federal administrative law judge and a three-member panel of the National Labor Relations Board because the company was found to have threatened retaliation if employees voted to unionize. 

The NLRB said company officials also banned employees from wearing union insignia and even demoted one employee for an online post supporting the union, which the company maintained was a violation of their social media policy.

In a statement, the United Steelworkers Union said it will not walk away from the plant's employees. 

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.