Malden Mills knitting machine technicians and skilled maintenance workers voted last week to form a new union due to the “chaos and insecurity surrounding the two year bankruptcy.” Workers, including mechanics, carpenters, electricians, painters and plumbers, voted 65 to 19 for a union, overturning a vote against unionizing in 2000.
A Malden employee told a local paper that the union passed this time because “no one knew where they stood with the company.”
Al Kraunelis, director of industrial relations at Malden Mills, told a local paper that the company was not surprised. “People have a choice, and their choice was to elect a union to represent them,” he said.
Kraunelis went on to say that employees changed their minds about the union when Malden Mills discontinued a 4% corporate contribution to their 401(k) plans a few years ago, “Times are changing. A lot of things ceased after we went into Chapter 11,” he said.