Right to Work Group Alleges UAW Misled Chattanooga VW Workers

Sep 26, 2013

Volkswagen employees gather outside the Chattanooga plant in 2010.
Credit Volkswagen Group of America

A right-to-work group is filing charges with the National Labor Relations Board on behalf of eight workers at the Hamilton County Volkswagen plant who say they were misled by the United Auto Workers union.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports National Right to Work Legal Defense Fund filed formal charges with the National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday. Earlier this month, the UAW said cards signed by VW employees showed majority support for unionization. But the eight workers filing the labor complaint say they were told the cards only signaled a desire to hold a secret-ballot vote on possible unionization. The group also alleges other improprieties.

Several of Tennessee's political heavyweights, including Gov. Bill Haslam and U.S. Senator Bob Corker, came out against the possible unionization of the Chattanooga plant, arguing that the move might hurt Tennessee's appeal to other manufacturers. Still the move toward some form of union activity at the VW plant appeared to be moving forward this summer. One possibility explored establishing a "work council," which would act as a liaison between employees and VW management.

It's unclear how this week's accusations will affect the push for unionization. The National Labor Relations Board receives thousands of complaints a year, and it can take from seven to twelve weeks to render a decision.

The Times Free Press could not reach UAW for comment as of late Tuesday evening.