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VIUSA, Inc., Teamsters Local 89, and the NLRB Reach $21.6M Settlement

The Regional Director for Region 9, on behalf of the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), has signed a court-mediated settlement agreement among the NLRB, VIUSA, Inc. (formerly Voith Industrial Services, Inc.) (the Employer), and Teamsters Local 89 (the Union). Under the Agreement, the Employer has agreed to pay $21.6 million. The NLRB will distribute  approximately $14.4 million, as backpay, to about 257 former employees of the Employer and individuals the Employer refused to hire at its former vehicle processing operation at the Ford Motor Company’s Louisville Assembly Plant in Louisville, KY. The remainder, approximately $7.2 million, will be distributed to the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund as compensation for the Employer’s failure to make benefit contributions.

Pursuant to charges filed with the NLRB’s Region 9 Office in Cincinnati, Region 9 issued a consolidated complaint in the matter on August 3, 2012.  The complaint alleged that the Employer violated the National Labor Relations Act by refusing to hire Teamster-represented employees, recognizing the United Auto Workers as a minority union, refusing to recognize and bargain with Teamsters Local 89, and unilaterally establishing terms and conditions of employment for the employees that it did hire. On February 17, 2016, the NLRB issued a Decision and Order in the case, holding that the Employer had violated the National Labor Relations Act, as alleged, and ordered the Employer to make all the affected employees whole, including payments owed to the employees’ pension fund.

The Employer petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati to review the NLRB Decision and Order.  Thereafter, the NLRB’s Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Branch, working closely with Region 9, the Employer, and the Union, entered into lengthy settlement negotiations with the assistance of the Sixth Circuit’s mediator. The negotiations culminated in the Regional Director for NLRB Region 9, Garey E. Lindsay, signing the settlement on October 5, 2017.

Established in 1935, the National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency that protects employers and employees from unfair labor practices, and protects the right of private sector employees to join together, with or without a union, to improve wages, benefits and working conditions. The NLRB conducts hundreds of workplace elections and investigates thousands of unfair labor practice charges each year.

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