UAW Abruptly Drops Appeal Of Vote At Chattanooga Volkswagen Plant

Monday, April 21, 2014

The United Auto Workers announced Monday morning that it was withdrawing objections filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regarding February's vote at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, effectively terminating the NLRB review process.

UAW President Bob King said the decision was made "in the best interests of Volkswagen employees, the automaker, and economic development in Chattanooga."

He said the UAW "based its decision on the belief that the NLRB’s historically dysfunctional and complex process potentially could drag on for months or even years. Additionally, the UAW cited refusals by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Senator Bob Corker to participate in a transparent legal discovery process, which undermines public trust and confidence."

Mr. King said, “The unprecedented political interference by Governor Haslam, Senator Corker and others was a distraction for Volkswagen employees and a detour from achieving Tennessee’s economic priorities. The UAW is ready to put February’s tainted election in the rearview mirror and instead focus on advocating for new jobs and economic investment in Chattanooga.”

UAW Region 8 Director Gary Casteel, who directs the union’s southern region, said the UAW’s focus "is advocating for Volkswagen to create more jobs in Tennessee by adding a new SUV line at the Chattanooga plant."

He said, "The Haslam administration in August offered nearly $300 million in incentives to bring the new SUV to Chattanooga, but attempted to make the investment contingent on whether the Chattanooga plant is organized. The Haslam administration’s contingency is contrary to Volkswagen’s successful business model, which is premised on worker representation.

“The UAW wants to help create quality jobs and build world-class products for American consumers. With this in mind, we urge Gov. Haslam to immediately extend the incentives that previously were offered to Volkswagen for this new SUV line, and do so unconditionally.”

Mr. King said the UAW has accomplished a major goal with its election objections. “The UAW’s objections informed the public about the unprecedented interference by anti-labor politicians and third parties who want to prevent workers from exercising their democratic right to choose union representation,” he said.

The UAW leader also said that outdated federal laws governing the NLRB never contemplated the level of extreme intimidation and interference that occurred in Chattanooga. Even if the NLRB ordered a new election — the board’s only available remedy under current law — nothing would stop politicians and anti-union organizations from again interfering.

He stated, "Looking ahead, the UAW believes the congressional inquiry into the Haslam administration’s incentives threat to Volkswagen provides the best opportunity for additional scrutiny. The UAW will ask Congress to examine the use of federal funds in the state’s incentives threat, in order to protect Tennessee jobs and workers in the future.

“Frankly, Congress is a more effective venue for publicly examining the now well-documented threat. We commend Congressmen George Miller and John Tierney for their leadership on this matter, and look forward to seeing the results of their inquiry.”

The surprise announcement came just before an administrative law judge was to begin a hearing at the Hamilton County Courthouse.

Senator Bob Corker was out of the country, and Governor Haslam had declined to appear.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BAILEY, JOYCE MARIE  3862 CENTRAL AVENUE CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 39 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga THEFT OF PROPERTY CRIMINAL TRESPASSING --- BATT, MICHELLE LEE  1024 SANDSTONE ROAD SPRING CITY, 37381  Age at Arrest: 36 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Christmas Parade In South Pittsburg

Tennessee River Gorge Trust Trail Warriors Make You Want To Take A Hike

Trail warriors of the Tennessee River Gorge Trust make you want to take a hike.  The Tennessee River Gorge Trust staff and volunteers make a huge difference in the Chattanooga community and have been making the outdoor areas around the River Gorge clean and protected for more than 30 years.  They deserve to be recognized and praised for all of the hard work they have ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why Our Schools Stink

Cheryl Roddy has spent her lifetime, for the biggest part, as a teacher for the Hamilton County Department of Education and, more specifically, at East Ridge High School. She has loved teaching there for nearly 40 years and is hardly “average;” she has her master's degree in education, was twice East Ridge’s teacher of the year, was the first teacher at East Ridge to reach the first ... (click for more)

Bradley Totally Dominates Ooltewah Invitational

We’re just now through the second week of the high school wrestling season, but the Bradley Bears appear to already be in mid-season form. The Bears, defending state champs for the duals and the traditional tournament, won the Heritage Duals last weekend and they added the Ooltewah Invitational this week as they claimed 10 champions and won going away with 268.5 points. The ... (click for more)

Irish Stick Around, Rally Late To Beat Hixson 64-61

Notre Dame’s basketball team proved Saturday that it’s better to lead late than early. The Irish trailed Hixson for almost 30 minutes – and by as many as 12 points – before taking a 59-57 lead on Akil Sledge’s two free throws with 2:02 left and went on to knock off the Wildcats 64-61 in the eighth Hoops For Hope charity basketball event at Girls Preparatory School. Notre ... (click for more)