Volkswagen Employees Should Do Their Homeworking Before Voting

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Volkswagen executives recently announced that the 1,600 workers at its assembly plant in Chattanooga will be holding a secret ballot election to determine whether or not they will join the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America.  According to The New York Times, the UAW “has voiced unusual optimism about winning.”  

This drastic change in position is surprising considering that just last fall a United Auto Workers representative openly worried about the prospects of holding a secret ballot election stating, “We know if we go for a traditional election where the outside organizations could campaign against us, we’d probably lose.”  In truth, the outcome of the election is anything but certain, but what is clear is that Volkswagen made the right decision only after receiving tremendous pressure from groups fighting for the interests of workers.  

The unionization process in Chattanooga commenced with a process known as card check, whereby employees sign cards to indicate their support for workplace organizing.  However, this form of organizing has been historically controversial, which is why the Supreme Court and Congress have recognized the secret ballot as the preferable method for determining employee intent.  

Card check enables union officials to intimidate, bully and illegally harass workers into signing away their right to vote their conscience.  Moreover, the process is open to manipulation because workers often fear retribution from their pro-union colleagues and labor organizers since there is no element of privacy.  The intrinsic lack of fairness has been well established and even evidenced at Volkswagen, where employees filed a lawsuit alleging that the union tricked them into signing cards, as well as making it overly burdensome to renege their support.

Union representatives tried to strong-arm Volkswagen into capitulating to its demands and denying workers a secret ballot vote, but public outcry and scrutiny forced the company not to acquiesce.  Yet, despite the fact a secret ballot vote is forthcoming; it does not mean Volkswagen’s workers are out of the woods.  The UAW has begun an intense campaign, lobbying workers to vote in favor of representation.  In the few days before the election takes place, Big Labor is working feverishly to conduct meetings with workers and persuade them to support the union cause. 
 

But before plant workers make a decision, they should pause to consider the very serious ramifications of unionization, an action that would cost them hard-earned dollars, result in the loss of their individuality and imperil the fate of their employer.  If workers elect to be represented by the UAW, the result will be that they will no longer be able to represent their own interests.  Decisions will be in the hands of union leaders, who have a track record of caring about their own personal interests more so than the welfare of workers.  Equally significant is the fact that by joining a union, workers will be required to pay dues, much of which goes to subsidize liberal causes that employees may or may not personally agree with.   

Workers at the VW plant should ask some tough questions. For instance, the UAW is increasing union dues this year on its members. Will there be another increase next year? And another increase the next? The union says the dues increases are designed to build up the strike fund. Is there a national strike in the offing? How long will workers be expected to strike, receiving no meaningful income for their families? Employees deserve answers to these questions.

Perhaps the greatest threat of recognizing the union is that it jeopardizes the future of the company and the workers themselves.  Union boss demands and mismanagement have contributed to the bankruptcy of some of America’s greatest auto companies.  Why would the fate of Volkswagen workers be any different than that of General Motors, which was brought to the brink of death by the UAW and saved with a massive, last minute taxpayer bailout? 

This decision is one that is next to impossible to reverse and cannot be taken lightly.  As workers in Chattanooga vote, it is critical they fully understand the consequences of their actions before giving Big Labor bosses the keys to the kingdom.  We know they are being promised the world by union organizers, but history proves that bosses – not workers – stand to benefit most from the union relationship.   

Fred Wszolek is a spokesman for the Workforce Fairness Institute

A Light Rain Began To Fall - And Response (3)

Around noon Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the most powerful nation on Earth after a long and sometimes bitter campaign where 17 GOP candidates of his own party and two of the opposing party competed for the honor.   Thousands rejoiced in the Washington D.C. streets while policemen who had come along with national guardsmen pushed ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Lady Remembers Rex

Kevin Roden sits on the City Council in Denton, Texas (think the Dallas-Fort Worth airport area in the northeastern part of the state) and he is gearing up to run for a third term this spring. He’s already got his website up and, while the election isn’t until April, he writes on his blog every now and then. Last month he let his wife take a turn at it, which brings us to yesterday’s ... (click for more)

Alabama Man Faces Murder Charge In Shooting Death At Bradley County Landfill

An investigation by  s pecial agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in the arrest of an Alabama man in a shooting death that occurred last fall at the Bradley County landfill.   At the request of 10 th  District Attorney General Steve Crump, last Sept. 8 TBI special agents began investigating a shooting death that occurred that ... (click for more)

Man Shot In East Lake Winds Up Facing Several Criminal Charges

Police said a man who was shot on Sunday morning in East Lake was assaulting the woman who shot him and others immediately before the gunfire.   Police said 29-year-old Latesha Hinton would not be charged in the shooting of Dieshunn Lindsey, 30. At approximately  10:50 a.m.,  officers with the Chattanooga Police Department responded to the 2700 block of ... (click for more)

Tullahoma Nips East Hamilton For Central Mat Title

The annual Central Invitational wrestling tournament was cancelled two weeks ago by the threat of inclement weather, but they were able to get it in on Saturday and it was a battle to the wire for the team championship. Luke Champion was the individual winner at 285 pounds and it was his victory that lifted the Tullahoma Wildcats to the team title as they finished the day-long ... (click for more)

Father Ryan Rallies To Beat Soddy Daisy

The Soddy Daisy Trojans may have been embarrassed over a lopsided whipping they took at the hands of the Bradley Bears Thursday night in Cleveland, but they came out with fire in their eyes Friday night in a dual meet with Father Ryan. The host Trojans had a seemingly-comfortable 32-22 lead with three matches remaining, but the Purple Irish won all three -- including two with ... (click for more)