UAW Says Outside Interference Swayed Volkswagen Union Vote

Following a narrow defeat last week at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, TN, plant, the United Auto Workers (UAW) has filed an appeal with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) citing outside interference by politicians and special interest groups.

Click here to read the appeal.

The 58-page filing shows many instances of state officials and other anti-worker interests conducting a “coordinated and widely-publicized coercive campaign” to deprive workers of their right to a fair union-representation election. Section 9(a) of the National Labor Relations Act stipulates that union elections must be “free of coercion, intimidation, threats and interference.”

In the days leading up to the high-profile election, state politicians made public and widely-reported threats that state-financed incentives would be taken away if they voted for the UAW. The report also mentions a dual threat and promise made by U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who said he was “assured” that if workers voted against the UAW, Volkswagen would announce that a new product line would be built in Chattanooga.
“It’s essentially saying, ‘If you unionize, it’s going to hurt your economy. Why? Because I’m going to make sure it does,” said Volkswagen worker Lauren Feinauer. “I hope people see it for the underhanded threat that it is.”

UAW President Bob King said it is an outrage that third parties threatened the economic future of Tennesseans for their own political gain.

“It is extraordinary interference in the private decision of workers to have a U.S. senator, a governor and leaders of the state legislature threaten the company with the denial of economic incentives and workers with a loss of product,” said King. “We’re committed to standing with the Volkswagen workers to ensure that their right to a fair vote without coercion and interference is protected.”

Click here to read the appeal.