By Al Kinzer
Seeking to set aside its loss, the UAW filed formal objections to the VW election with the NLRB. The UAW alleges interference with the NLRB election process by third parties. The UAW requests that the NLRB set aside its 712-626 loss in the February 14 election and conduct another secret-ballot election. The UAW has until February 28, 2014, to submit evidence to the NLRB to support its allegations.
The UAW alleges the following instances of outside interference that it says improperly affected the vote:
- A coordinated, widely-publicized campaign by Tennessee Governor Haslam and other state political leaders, disseminating threats that state tax incentives and other financial benefits would be withheld from VW if the VW workers voted for the UAW;
- The creation of a new non-profit organization called Southern Momentum that repeated and broadcast the alleged threats by the Tennessee politicians;
- U.S. Senator Bob Corker’s publicized comments that VW would expand and build a second production line in Chattanooga if the workers voted against the UAW; and
- The cumulative effect of all of the above that led employees to believe that a vote in favor of the UAW might put their jobs at risk.
None of the interference the UAW alleges centers on VW, the employer. The NLRA regulates the employer’s conduct, but does not regulate the conduct of national or state politicians.
In its NLRB objections, the UAW conveniently ignores the political support it received from President Obama during the VW voting.
After the UAW submits its evidence to the NLRB, the NLRB will then decide whether it will conduct an investigation into the UAW’s allegations.