Union Files Unfair Labor Practice Charges Against Metal Powder Products (MPP) After Shameful Misconduct

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MPP Private Equity Owner, Mill Point Capital, Faces Scrutiny

Campbellsburg, Ind., June 17, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The International Union of Electrical Workers-Communications Workers of America (IUE-CWA) has filed several Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges against Metal Powder Products (MPP) for its unlawful behavior and general disregard for workers’ Section 7 rights during and after a recent union representation election. Despite the company’s relentless efforts to undermine the democratic process, workers at the Campbellsburg plant voted decisively to join the IUE-CWA on April 10, 2024.

Founded in 1948, MPP is a global provider of custom-engineered powder metal (PM) and metal injection molding (MIM). The election, conducted by the National Labor Relations Board, saw a majority of workers vote in favor of forming a union. The workers’ primary issues included the company’s plan to cease its 401(k) match, elimination of vacation banks, lack of due process for grievances, and overall poor working conditions.

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In the lead-up to the election, MPP engaged in numerous anti-union tactics, such as holding captive audience meetings, distributing anti-union flyers, and providing “vote no” t-shirts to supervisors. During the election, the company further escalated its misconduct by allegedly turning workers away from voting, misleading them about voting times, and positioning supervisory employees wearing anti-union shirts near the polling place.

The IUE-CWA has filed ULP charges against MPP for unlawful interrogation and the impression of unlawful surveillance in addition to the unlawful removal of union materials from workers personal spaces, including from IUE-CWA’s own bulletin board. The union contends that MPP’s actions violate federal law, which thereby compromises the integrity of the election process and chills workers from exercising their rights under federal law.

“The extent to which MPP went to intimidate and manipulate its workers is shameful,” said Carl Kennebrew, President of IUE-CWA. “Such behavior undermines the fundamental rights of workers to freely choose representation without fear or coercion. This is unacceptable. Our entire union will see to it that MPP is held accountable and that justice is served.”

This is the second time workers at the Campbellsburg plant have attempted to form a union. In 2020-2021, they faced an intense anti-union campaign from management, which resulted in an election loss. The repeated attempts for organizing highlights the persistent and oppressive tactics employed by MPP to suppress workers’ rights.

MPP is owned by Mill Point Capital, a New York based private equity firm with over $1.4 billion in capital commitments, managing investments from several public employees and union retirement funds. Private equity firms like Mill Point Capital have been scrutinized for their predatory behavior, often leading to practices that can negatively impact workers and undermine operational performance at the companies they take over, as they seek to extract cash from the controlled business. MPP’s conduct during this union representation election raises serious questions about Mill Point’s oversight, governance, and ethical standards. Such behavior not only tarnishes the reputation of Mill Point Capital but also highlights the destructive impact of prioritizing profits over people.

Despite MPP’s attempts to delay and contest the election results, workers at the Campbellsburg plant remain resolute. They have elected a bargaining committee and stewards, with the first bargaining session scheduled with the company on June 25th. This group, consisting of approximately 160 workers, will join workers at two IUE-CWA-represented facilities in Pennsylvania.

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IUE-CWA is the industrial division of Communication Workers of America representing a force of 150,000 active and retired men and women united collectively to seek dignity on the job and a secure future for ourselves, our children and all future generations.

CONTACT: Beth Allen Communications Workers of America 202-657-1931 [email protected] 

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