Two Tennessee Democratic legislators will call Monday for outside interests to not interfere with this week's election by Volkswagen employees about whether or not they want to be represented by the United Auto Workers.
State Reps., JoAnne Favors, D-Chattanooga, and Sherry Jones, D-Nashville, have called a press conference Monday to demand an end what they call interference from outside special interest groups in the union representation election.
"We value the economic impact that Volkswagen has had on Chattanooga," Rep. Favors said in a statement released Sunday night. "Volkswagen and the UAW agreed to an election process that gives workers the rare opportunity to express their desire and make a decision on union representation in an environment that is free from intimidation and coercion. Volkswagen has asked third parties to remain neutral and leave the decision to the workers and we're calling on them to respect that request."
More than 1,500 hourly workers at VW will vote Wednesday through Friday in a union certification election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board.
VW has allowed UAW representatives to talk in the plant to employees about the union, but anti-UAW groups and employees have complained that they have not had the same chance to make public presentations within the plant.
A number of business groups have mounted campaigns to convince workers not to vote for the UAW, including the National Right to Work Foundation, the Beacon Group, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Southern Momentum, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Center for Worker Freedom, an offshoot of Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Freedom.
The news conference by Rep. Favors and Rep Jones Monday morning in support of the UAW comes at the same time that two leading Republicans in the Tennessee General Assembly — House Majority Leader Gerald Mccormick and state Sen. Bo Watson — have called a press conference in which they are expected to urge workers to vote against the UAW at Volkswagen.
Dave Flessner is the business editor for the Times Free Press. A journalist for 35 years, Dave has been business editor and projects editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, city editor for The Chattanooga Times, business and county reporter for the Chattanooga Times, correspondent for the Lansing State Journal and Ingham County News in Michigan, staff writer for the Hastings Daily Tribune in Nebraska, and news director for WCBN-FM in Michigan. Dave, a native ...