Friday, February 14, 2014 must have felt more like a “Friday the 13th” to the UAW An aggressive campaign supported by the powerful I.G. Metall German Union, Volkswagen corporate offices in Germany, and reminiscent of the SEIU’s Death by a Thousand Cuts campaign against my company and our employees, was defeated as Volkswagen Workers in Chattanooga Reject Auto Workers Union.
Facing its day of reckoning, the UAW Asks Labor Board to Weigh New Vote at Tennessee VW Plant. The UAW is crying foul, asserting that comments made by a Tennessee Republican Senator, Caused Workers to Vote Against the UAW. Senator Bob Corker publicly stated that the UAW was in “a death spiral,” and suggested that Volkswagen would move future work to other plants instead of Chattanooga if the union prevailed. Hypocritically, the UAW made no mention of the fact that on the day of the election, its “Defender In Chief,” President Obama, blasted Corker and other local conservatives for “interfering.” The President Stated in an Address that everyone was in favor of the UAW representing Volkswagen except for local politicians who were more concerned about German shareholders than American workers.
One would think if the UAW wanted to challenge the election results, surely it must consider that President Obama’s comments would carry more weight than Senator Corker, and that both comments are Outside the Jurisdiction of the NLRA and Subsequently the NLRB’s Power. Ironically, according to sources close to the election, Senator Corker’s remarks and President Obama’s counter comments came after 1,200 of the approximate 1,300 VW employees had already voted, obviously having no effect on the outcome of the election. However, desperate people do desperate things, and there is little doubt that the UAW is Becoming Desperate. The truth is, this is just another failed attempt in The Long History of the UAW’s Failed Southern Strategy.
That fact that this was another attempt at forced unionization is clear, as the UAW would never have engaged the German union and Volkswagon Germany, or pressured Volkswagen in Chattanooga into signing a Neutrality Agreement unless they were concerned that they did not have enough employee votes to win. Unnamed sources have reported that a large percentage of the election cards from employees coerced by the UAW were actually signed by vendor employees in an attempt to over-inflate employee interest!
Furthermore, this was not the typical Neutrality Agreement often utilized by big labor in the United States, this was the UAW Neutrality Agreement. It does not demand the secret ballot election be bypassed in favor of Card Check, but actually repetitively asserts that a secret ballot election would occur under the supervision of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). In fact, it seemed to be over emphasized to distract employees and others from the real intent which was an Ambush Election (see NLRB Flexes Muscles). The agreement was signed around February 2, 2014 under protest from the VW Plant Manager, who intentionally scribbled his name so as to remain anonymous. It required election dates of February 12, 13, and 14, providing management and employees a mere 10 days to evaluate and prepare. This compared to the normal 42-day period, as stipulated in the National Labor Relations Act. Simultaneously, the UAW was provided an office in the plant, while 20 UAW organizers roamed the plant in black shirts coercing the workers to join the union with promise of much higher pay rates, similar to “Legacy Wages” offered in UAW organized facilities throughout Michigan.
Volkswagen employees, determined not to be intimidated, hired persuaders to assist them in combatting the UAW tactics. They established their own website, www.no2uaw.com, to counter the coercion and educate fellow employees. This group of employees did a tremendous job of putting videos, t-shirts and fliers together to expose typical UAW propaganda and misinformation, as chronicled in Unprecedented Union Corruption, and it was instrumental in carrying the election for the Volkswagen employees. Exploring this website and watching the videos is well worth one’s time to understand how these brave employees banded together to stave off the UAW’s “Quickie Election”.
Even more concerning, in this UAW Neutrality Agreement, there is language that appears to allow the UAW, with consent from Volkswagen, to circumvent the year cooling off period until organizing and another election can be undertaken. In discussion with people close to the situation, there is concern that this would allow the UAW to use Death by a Thousand Cuts tactics to force Volkswagen into signing a traditional Neutrality Agreement and achieve forced unionization of the employees through Card Check. It is evident that the UAW, facing its moment of reckoning, has no intention of allowing the employees’ desire to remain non-union get in its way of establishing Volkswagen as its Southern Union Foothold in the Right-to-Work State of Tennessee. The UAW Gasping Dinosaurs understand that organizing foreign automakers in the South is its only hope of survival.
David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” as well as the just released sequel, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.