Exal workers reject union representation

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) –  Exal Corp. workers will not be represented by the Teamsters union.

The company’s more than 450 employees were given three opportunities to vote Tuesday and Wednesday and voted 3-1 against unionizing. The final count was 249 to 87 and it was a secret ballot.

The aluminum container manufacturer opened its corporate headquarters in Youngstown more than 20 years ago, in 1993.

CEO Michael Hoffman said the company prides itself on partnering with employees and the vote margin proves that.

“The people are the backbone of the company. They’ve been pushing to have an election for over 18 months and we pushed to get them that election. And the past two days, they had their opportunity and they voted unanimously in favor of the company,” Hoffman said.

He said he was not surprised by the vote, but was pleased with the large amount of support the company received.

“You can’t make everybody happy, but I think that overwhelming margin says we’re doing a pretty good job,” Hoffman said.

Woody Booth, who has worked at Exal Corp. for nearly 10 years, said the unionization effort began 18 months ago and likely was started by some disgruntled employees upset about time off or vacation time.

Booth said the employees will move forward and work to resolve what he calls “minor issues,” like vacation time.

“The vote speaks for itself. There isn’t very many jobs around here that are as good as what we already have. Can we make it better? Sure. I mean, I guess we could. And if that’s what needs to be done, that’s what needs to be done to ensure that this doesn’t happen again,” Booth said.

In November, workers at Exal claimed the National Labor Relations Board canceled a vote to unionize despite 250 workers signing a petition seeking the right to cast a ballot.

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