The NRLB recently gave the UAW an expected victory. As readers of this blog will recall, the UAW is seeking to represent about 165 skilled maintenance workers at the VW plant in Chattanooga. VW contended that the UAW should not be permitted to represent a micro-unit of 165 skilled maintenance workers in a manufacturing facility with over 1,500 production and maintenance workers. On April 13, 2016, the NLRB formally ruled in the UAW’s favor by denying VW’s appeal of the micro-unit question.
But, the legal battle is not over. Under the NLRA’s Byzantine procedures, the matter can only get to the federal court of appeals after the NLRB has ruled that VW has committed an unfair labor practice by refusing to bargain with the UAW as the representative of the 165 maintenance workers. So far, VW has refused to bargain, and the UAW has filed unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB. That unfair labor practice proceeding, however, is still in its early stages before the NLRB. Unless VW relents, that legal process will take about another two years before a federal appeals court rules on the micro-unit question.