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The UAW leader also said that outdated federal laws governing the NLRB never contemplated the level of extreme intimidation and interference that occurred in Chattanooga.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.

Gregory Stephens, 48, Arrested For Kidnapping And Aggravated Assault In Whitfield County

A man is being held on kidnapping and aggravated assault charges in Whitfield County. On Thursday, at approximately 9:40 p.m., deputies were dispatched to 2142 Beaverdale Road in reference to an assault that had taken place. Upon arrival, the officers found Terry Whaley, 53, with lacerations and abrasions to the head. Mr. Whaley informed officers that he and Monica Cunningham ... (click for more)

Upcoming City Council Agenda For Tuesday

Here is the upcoming City Council agenda for Tuesday: I. Call to Order. II. Pledge of Allegiance/Invocation (Councilman Hakeem). III. Minute Approval. IV. Special Presentation. V. Ordinances – Final Reading : (None) VI. Ordinances – First Reading : (None) VII. Resolutions: GENERAL SERVICES a. A resolution to amend Resolution No. 28696 authorizing ... (click for more)

Accountability Doesn't Have To Be A Bad Word

Am I making a difference? Isn’t that the basic question we all ask ourselves, and seek to demonstrate to others?  Ronald Reagan said:  “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.”   We would argue teachers do not have that problem either.    Educators make a huge difference ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Guess Who Backed Kelly?

Two weeks before the August election where three members of the Hamilton County School Board were angrily replaced, the organizer of what was called “a great way for the (challengers) to raise great money to help them run smart campaigns” made a bold statement. “I'm sure the current board is well-intentioned, but the results are not there," said Paul Brock. "Leadership matters ... (click for more)

CPA Blanks CCS, 1-0, in A-AA State Soccer Semis

MURFREESBORO - The scoring opportunities were few for both teams, but Christ Presbyterian used a shot and a deflection off a defender for a 1-0 win against Chattanooga Christian in an A-AA state semifinal match here Thursday at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex. District 12 player of the year Sarah Sievertsen scored the winning goal in the 54th minute as the Lions advance ... (click for more)

DeBord Happy To Have Kelly, Hurd In Vols' Backfield

Tennessee offensive coordinator Mike DeBord, defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and tight ends coach/special teams coordinator Larry Scott spoke reporters at Wednesday's press conference in the Ray and Lucy Hand Digital Studio. No. 18 Tennessee (5-2, 2-2 SEC) takes on South Carolina (3-4, 1-4 SEC) on Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium with a 7:15 ... (click for more)