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The UAW leader also said that outdated federal laws governing the NLRB never contemplated the level of extreme intimidation and interference that occurred in Chattanooga.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


Dalton Police Seek Identity Of Person Of Interest In Lost Wallet Case

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help identifying a man who is a person of interest in the loss of a wallet at the Shugart Road Walmart.  The lost wallet was later turned in to Walmart’s loss prevention staff, but the $130 cash it contained was missing.   The incident happened on March 9 at approximately 8:45 p.m. when the victim used the ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Man Facing Child Rape Charge

A Soddy Daisy man has been indicted by the Hamilton County Grand Jury on child rape charges. Scott A. Montgomery, 39, of 9819 Dallas Hollow Road, faces two counts. He was indicted for rape of a child and statutory rape by an authority figure. (click for more)

Physicians Thank Their Patients On Doctor’s Day

March 30 has been set aside as National Doctors’ Day since 1933 as a time to recognize the contributions made by our physicians. While the recognition is appreciated, our greatest satisfaction comes from caring for our patients.  For 132 years, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society has been the physicians’ voice as we worked together to improve health of our community. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Goodbye, Dr. Nassour

About 51 years ago, right after Jim Creel had graduated from the University of Texas and was in Guadalajara for medical school, he was surprised to find a complete stranger sitting on his battered and dusty Volkswagen. “He had seen my Longhorns sticker and was thrilled to find somebody else in Mexico who loved the University of Texas. “That’s when our friendship started and it ... (click for more)

Tennessee Moves Swiftly To Bring Barnes Onboard

Former Texas men’s basketball coach Rick Barnes wasn’t out of work long. Barnes, fired Saturday after 17 seasons with the Longhorns, has been hired as Tennessee’s new coach. A press conference in Knoxville will be held this afternoon to officially announce that Barnes is replacing one-and-done Donnie Tyndall. Tennessee “terminated” Tyndall earlier this month due to him ... (click for more)

Central Scores Early, Hangs On To Beat Red Bank, 7-6

Central baseball coach Glen Carter could finally breathe a sigh of relief. His Purple Pounders had bolted to a 7-0 lead in the first three innings of Monday's 6-AA skirmish with the Red Bank Lions and things were looking pretty good for those guys in purple. But it all came down to Red Bank's final at-bat.  The Lions sent eight hitters to the plate and scored ... (click for more)