A bitterly contested union representation election among 1,300 employees at a Van Nuys aluminum wheel manufacturer that led to a three-year battle before the National Labor Relations Board has resulted in victory for the United Auto Workers.
The NLRB ruling certifying the union election could lead to contract negotiations between the UAW and Superior Industries, one of the nation's largest manufacturers of aluminum wheel rims. Mike Feinberg, a lawyer for the union, said the battle could also move to the courts.
In 1984, UAW local 645 won by a 53%-to-47% margin the right to represent Superior's workers, many of whom are Mexican and Central American immigrants. The company filed 118 objections to the conduct of the election, touching off the appeals process.
In 1985, a company official said Superior asked the FBI to investigate the union. "We had heard the union was stockpiling weapons in Van Nuys for shipment to Communist radicals in Central America," George Musson, director of personnel said. "The employees working with the union to organize Superior are from Central America, and I would suspect they have Communist leanings."