Friday, February 21, 2014
The United Auto Workers today, February 21, 2014, filed an appeal with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) alleging outside interference in a historic Southern auto plant vote last week. A win for the UAW would have represented a major victory for the labor movement in the South. The vote one week ago saw Volkswagen auto plant workers vote narrowly against union representation that would have led to the establishment of a works council - the first such proposed model of labor-management relations in the United States.
The UAW alleges that a firestorm of interference and threats from special interest groups influenced how workers voted over three days last week. (WATCH: Workers’ React to Outside Interference).
According to a UAW Release: Of the anti-union messaging: “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.”
The campaign also included threats by U.S. Sen. Bob Corker related to promises of a new product line awarded to the plant if workers voted against UAW representation.
The objections state, “Senator 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 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 UAW announced after the vote:
“While we certainly would have liked a victory for workers here, we deeply respect the Volkswagen Global Group Works Council, Volkswagen management and IG Metall for doing their best to create a free and open atmosphere for workers to exercise their basic human right to form a union,” said UAW President Bob King.
Read the full announcement here. Volkswagen Chattanooga workers were brave and stood up to the tremendous pressure from outside. Send them a message of support on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #UAWVW to remind them they have allies, brothers and sisters standing with them in solidarity.