UAW slams decision giving anti-union workers voice in VW dispute

Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:11pm EDT

A general view of the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga,Tennessee February 14, 2014. REUTERS/Christopher Aluka Berry

A general view of the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga,Tennessee February 14, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Christopher Aluka Berry

(Reuters) - The United Auto Workers on Wednesday sharply criticized and vowed to appeal a U.S. agency's decision to let anti-UAW Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) workers defend the results of an election that the union lost last month at a Tennessee VW plant.

The UAW said it would appeal the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision, which it called an outrage.

The union said the NLRB had deviated from its own precedent by giving two groups of anti-UAW workers a formal role as legal parties to the election dispute.

The UAW has asked the NLRB to scrap the results of the election, which the union lost by a 712-626 vote, arguing that anti-union statements by politicians and outside groups compromised voting at the Chattanooga facility.

The anti-UAW workers are supported by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and Southern Momentum, two of the groups that campaigned against the UAW in the days leading up to the Volkswagen workers' vote.

The UAW said the two groups are "masquerading as legitimate worker representatives", but are actually funded by powerful business interests. They worked in tandem with Tennessee Republican politicians, such as Senator Bob Corker and Governor Bill Haslam, to disseminate anti-union messages, the UAW said.

"It is an outrage that their allies, who refused to reveal their funding sources and who openly republished the illicit threats in the media and among the Volkswagen workforce, will now be allowed to participate in the NLRB hearing," the UAW said in a statement.

The fight over the Chattanooga union election has landed at the feet of the NLRB, a federal agency that supervises union elections and polices unfair labor practices in the private sector.

The NLRB's regional office in Atlanta is handling the UAW's challenge to the election result. That office decided on Monday to grant the two groups of anti-union workers party status in the case. The regional office's decisions can be appealed to the full five-member NLRB board in Washington, D.C.

The UAW said it would ask the board to review the Atlanta office's decision on giving the anti-UAW workers party status.

The Atlanta regional office will also investigate the UAW's claims that outside parties unduly influenced the election outcome at the Chattanooga facility. That process will likely include a hearing, but it has not yet been scheduled.

(Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Stephen Powell)

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Comments (4)
SR37212 wrote:
If the UAW and VW are so all fired up to have a union plant why don’t they just move to Detroit?
Tennessee is growing and we really don’t need a bunch of whiners here. The governor the UAW hate just this week announced over 1000 new jobs moving here from other parts of the country.
I’m sure with Hamilton counties 1Gb/sec internet speed they won’t have much of a problem attracting another business to replace VW. BTW Hamilton County is where Chattanooga’s located.

Mar 12, 2014 4:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
dgss36a wrote:
The ‘progressive’ mindset in full flower. Where is the UAW headquarters located? Clearly, the misguided majority was hypnotized or bribed or enchanted to choose other than that deemed appropriate by our leader and his sponsors. Each and every one of the majority rejecting the preference of our revered leader and his deacons should be compelled to stand before the membership of the Detroit unions and identify and justify themselves. Then, after appropriate IRS inquiries and union member visitations to the ‘pre’-union heretic’s homes, new polling can take place, as many times as it takes to secure a satisfactory result.

Mar 12, 2014 5:38pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Randy549 wrote:
“The UAW said the two groups are ‘masquerading as legitimate worker representatives’…”

Heh, sounds like the UAW itself.

Mar 12, 2014 6:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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