UAW appeals failed Chattanooga Volkswagen vote


By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog

CHATTANOOGA — The United Auto Workers union has appealed its failed attempt to organize at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant this month, just as the National Right to Work Foundation predicted.

As NRWF spokesman Patrick Semmens told Tennessee Watchdog would likely happen, the UAW immediately filed an appeal with the National Labor Relations Board.

In its filing, the UAW specifically mentioned what it called outside third parties, specifically elected Tennessee Republican officials such as U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, who publicly spoke out against the union.

APPEAL: The United Auto Workers labor union is not done with its effort to organize workers at the Volkswagen AG plant in Chattanooga, Tenn.

In turn, the NRWF has filed a motion to intervene in the situation on behalf of five Chattanooga VW workers who participated in this month’s vote, which went against the UAW by a tally of 712 to 626.

“The workers think they should be allowed to make their point and be allowed in the process particularly because it seems Volkswagen isn’t going to take a position. Typically the company and the union are on different sides,” Semmens told Tennessee Watchdog Wednesday.

“There is no one formally involved in this process who is defending the outcome of this vote, so we think these employees ought to be able to do that. Otherwise, you have the equivalent of a few foxes guarding the hen house.”

Semmens also dismissed UAW’s claim that outside influences unfairly affected the outcome of the vote — particularly considering President Obama publicly spoke out in favor of the UAW in this matter.

As for a timeline for how all this is going to play out, Semmens couldn’t say, but he predicted it might go very slowly.


As Tennessee Watchdog previously reported, the UAW may not legally attempt another vote at the plant for at least another year.

Talks between UAW and VW workers had revolved around whether the union could form what has been known as a European-style works council, which no other U.S. automobile factory has. Some say that’s tantamount to having an union.

A union isn’t legally required for the type of activity that goes on in works councils, at least not in the United States, according to the NRWF website.

Tennessee is a right-to-work state, meaning workers can’t be fired for not joining the UAW and paying union dues.

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