published Friday, February 21st, 2014

UAW files appeal on VW Chattanooga plant election

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    UAW President Bob King speaks with the media inside the Chattanooga Electrical Apprenticeship and Training Center after the vote was announced in this file photo.
    Photo by Erin O. Smith.
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UAW Election Objection
UAW Election Objection

The United Auto Workers today filed an appeal with the National Labor Relations Board related to what it termed interference by politicians and outside special interest groups in the election last week at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant.

“It’s an outrage that politically motivated third parties threatened the economic future of this facility and the opportunity for workers to create a successful operating model that that would grow jobs in Tennessee,” said UAW President Bob King.

The UAW cited what it called threats by U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., related to promises of a new product line awarded to the plant if workers voted against UAW representation.

“Sen. Corker’s conduct was shameful and undertaken with utter disregard for the rights of the citizens of Tennessee and surrounding states that work at Volkswagen,” the UAW said in its objections. “The clear message of the campaign was that voting for the union would result in stagnation for the Chattanooga plant, with no new product, no job security, and withholding of state support for its expansion.”

The NLRB is to investigate the election conduct and determine whether there are grounds to set aside the election results and hold a new election for Volkswagen workers, the UAW said.

VW workers last week voted 712 to 626 to reject the UAW’s bid to organize the plant.

Right to Work Foundation criticizes UAW

The National Right to Work Foundation said today that the United Auto Workers is “blaming everyone but themselves” after the union appealed the election by Chattanooga Volkswagen plant employees last week.

Mark Mix, the foundation’s president, said Chattanooga VW employees managed to “stave off a coercive unionization campaign” even though the UAW and VW officials colluded for over two years to stack the deck against the workers.

“The result of this election came after the National Labor Relations Board further tilted the playing field in favor of UAW union officials by fast-tracking the unionization process. Despite all of this, UAW union officials still lost the vote,” he said in a statement.

Mix said that foundation staff attorneys plan to exercise “every legal option for workers who support the election’s result, because they are concerned that Volkswagen will not actively defend the employees’ vote.”

The UAW in its appeal to the NLRB cited interference by politicians and outside special interest groups during the election in which employees voted 712 to 626 to reject union representation.

See more in Saturday’s Times Free Press.

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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