Federal Labor Board To Hear UAW Complaint On Chattanooga VW Vote

Apr 21, 2014

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Today, a judge with the National Labor Relations Board will convene a hearing in Chattanooga that will determine whether or not political opposition to the United Auto Workers union swayed a vote at the city's Volkswagen plant.

UAW's complaint was lodged not long after the group lost a February union vote in which VW Chattanooga works rejected the chance to establish ties with the union. The vote was closely watched as a bellwether for union involvement at Southern auto plants.

The vote was also closely watched by UAW's opponents, which included Gov. Bill Haslam, state Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty and U.S. Sen. Bob Corker. All three were vocal in their opposition to forming a UAW-supported employee works council, saying it would be bad for Tennessee's business climate.

UAW's case focuses on that opposition. The union alleged involvement from Haslam, Corker and others amounted to political intereference and may have unfairly swayed the vote. Haslam, Corker and Hagerty were subpoenaed to testify at Monday's hearing, but efforts were underway to quash the subpoenas.

Two Democratic U.S. House members have launched their own inquiry into whether the Haslam administration broke any federal labor laws in the lead-up to the Chattanooga VW vote.