Surprise: UAW folds in VW dispute

posted at 10:41 am on April 21, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Thus marks the end of the United Auto Workers’ foray into unionizing Southern auto manufacturing. Despite cooperative management at Volkswagen, the UAW failed to convince workers in its Chattanooga facility to unionize. The union alleged interference and demanded a hearing at the National Labor Relations Board to force a revote, but unexpectedly withdrew just before the hearing was scheduled to start:

The United Auto Workers Union, in a surprise move, on Monday gave up its fight to force a revote by workers at Volkswagen‘s plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., a retreat that leaves the union with an uncertain future.

The withdrawal came an hour before the UAW was to go before the National Labor Relations Board to plead for a new election and comes after it had appeared prepared for a long and bitter fight. Earlier this month, the UAW issued subpoenas to 19 people, including Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Sen. Bob Corker. The union had alleged public comments against the union by Messrs. Haslam and Corker interfered with the February election, which the UAW lost by a vote of 712-626.

“The UAW is ready to put February’s tainted election in the rearview mirror and instead focus on advocating for new jobs and economic investment in Chattanooga,” UAW President Bob King said.

The measure of UAW’s desperation came in its efforts to “subpoena” politicians to provide testimony in today’s hearing. Corker and Haslam had already laughed off the attempt:

“Everyone understands that after a clear defeat, the UAW is trying to create a sideshow, so we have filed a motion to revoke these baseless subpoenas,” Todd Womack, Corker’s chief of staff, told the Tennessean. “Neither Sen. Corker nor his staff will attend the hearing on Monday.”

Hagerty and Haslam’s respective staffs said they had not scheduled appearances before the NLRB either but did not explicitly rule it out either.

Haslam rejected the invitation over the weekend:

UAW subpoenaed two dozen officials, alleging that politicians interfered in the election through public statements on behalf of VW. That would have been a novel argument, to say the least, since the NLRB isn’t a political-speech referee. Furthermore, VW had cooperated with UAW on their efforts, while perhaps not being entirely enthusiastic, so UAW couldn’t point to any employer action on which to invalidate the election.

In the end, they didn’t have a leg on which to stand in today’s hearing, and absent any compelled testimony, their case would go nowhere fast. The longer they argued, the worse they would make their position, which turned out to be surprisingly strong in the narrow defeat at VW. The better part of valor in this case is definitely discretion; the only question is whether the UAW learned that lesson in time.


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Thus marks the end of the United Auto Workers’ foray into unionizing Southern auto manufacturing.
============================

Boinking “A”!!

canopfor on April 21, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Good riddance. At least somebody has some sense.

ImmigrantsWife on April 21, 2014 at 10:43 AM

“The UAW is ready to put February’s tainted election in the rearview mirror and instead focus on advocating for new jobs and economic investment in Chattanooga like we did in Detriot,” UAW President Bob King said.

hawkdriver on April 21, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Well, THAT’S a first…

Ltlgeneral64 on April 21, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Good news, for once.

David Blue on April 21, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Repeal the Wagner Act.

Akzed on April 21, 2014 at 10:45 AM

I guess they’ve learned that you don’t throw good money after bad. Though I’m no sure any of their money was good and what they do have is probably on the decline. Most people learn that you don’t go where you’re not wanted.

COgirl on April 21, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Unions…stay in your own backyard with the rest of your corrupt cronies…

Sincerely,

The South

workingclass artist on April 21, 2014 at 10:46 AM

VW = Ralphie Parker.
UAW/NLRB = Scott Farkus and Grover Dill

Outcome: bloody nose for bully, toady running to daddy.

BuckeyeSam on April 21, 2014 at 10:48 AM

I swear the south is the only sane spot in this country

neyney on April 21, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Keep Detroit in Detroit, thank you.

Sincerely,
The South.

Mini-14 on April 21, 2014 at 10:50 AM

This isn’t over. In Obamaland there is no voting against a union.

ConstantineXI on April 21, 2014 at 10:50 AM

workingclass artist on April 21, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Great minds do think alike, LOL

Mini-14 on April 21, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Repeal the Wagner Act.

Akzed on April 21, 2014 at 10:45 AM

This. For one thing, the Wagner Act legalizes violence by union thugs. It is clearly Unconstitutional no matter what courts say.

ConstantineXI on April 21, 2014 at 10:52 AM

My version of the events says that whichever idiot in the VW German top management cooperated with them promptly got an earful (and possibly a pink slip to go along with it), and his successor wasted no time explaining to UAW agents that they’ve worn out their welcome.

Rix on April 21, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Yippee! I just bought a car made at that plant.

rockmom on April 21, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Good news for those in the South who want to improve their economic situation, UNLIKE those poor Detroit sufferers. Maybe they could move to a nicer climate. However, I tend to agree with Constantine:

This isn’t over. In Obamaland there is no voting against a union.

Ms. Contrarian Scientist on April 21, 2014 at 10:58 AM

There used to be a time when our politician legislators jealously guarded their power and prerogatives. The idea of a bureaucrat making them come to testify would have never have occurred to them; it was the other way ’round. Today, legislators have largely abdicated their law writing duties to the bureaucrats, staffers and lobbyists. The bureaucrats are merely testing the limits; don’t think this is the end.

Fenris on April 21, 2014 at 10:58 AM

I won’t bet against the NLRB giving a win to the UAW even though they are no longer seeking it. This is a fundamentally changed country and the benevolent dictators know what is best for us.

jukin3 on April 21, 2014 at 10:58 AM

The UAW has subpoena powers?

p0s3r on April 21, 2014 at 10:58 AM

I actually am surprised. I thought for sure the NLRD was going to give them was wet messy kiss and hand them the VW plant.

Cindy Munford on April 21, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Surprise: UAW folds in VW dispute

Soooo, they realized they were losing the game of chicken, and decided it was better to avoid the fight than to be humiliated?

There Goes the Neighborhood on April 21, 2014 at 11:01 AM

February-

“It’s an outrage that politically motivated third parties threatened the economic future of this facility and the opportunity for workers to create a successful operating model that that would grow jobs in Tennessee,” said UAW president Bob King.

“It is extraordinary interference in the private decision of workers to have a US senator, a governor and leaders of the state legislature threaten the company with the denial of economic incentives and workers with a loss of product. We’re committed to standing with the Volkswagen workers to ensure that their right to have a fair vote without coercion and interference is protected.”

April-

“The UAW is ready to put February’s tainted election in the rearview mirror and instead focus on advocating for new jobs and economic investment in Chattanooga,” UAW President Bob King said.

Yeah, that would really instill confidence in UAW’s commitment to workers when they fold like a cheap suit when they actually have to prove the allegations they made less than two months ago.

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Soooo, they realized they were losing the game of chicken, and decided it was better to avoid the fight than to be humiliated?

There Goes the Neighborhood on April 21, 2014 at 11:01 AM

The NLRB is so pro-union it has lost all balance or fairness. Soooooo when the UAW realizes that it doesn’t have a chance with such a stacked deck, they decided to put their tail between their legs and run like hell.

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 11:06 AM

I wonder how the vocal UAW supporters at the VW plant are feeling this morning.

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 11:08 AM

I wonder how the vocal UAW supporters at the VW plant are feeling this morning.

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 11:08 AM

My guess, either hungover or still stoned.

HumpBot Salvation on April 21, 2014 at 11:10 AM

What they’ve avoided is an NLRB ruling against them that could be used in the future to foil their plans elsewhere.

BobMbx on April 21, 2014 at 11:16 AM

This. For one thing, the Wagner Act legalizes violence by union thugs. It is clearly Unconstitutional no matter what courts say. ConstantineXI on April 21, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Indeed. It says something like “strikes and other consequences,” justifying those other consequences in the minds of The Helpful Union Guys.

Akzed on April 21, 2014 at 11:19 AM

‘Toons of the Day: Second Term Stinkburgers

Resist We Much on April 21, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Awesome collection…………….

VegasRick on April 21, 2014 at 11:23 AM

I wonder how the vocal UAW supporters at the VW plant are feeling this morning.

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Lonely?

Tsar of Earth on April 21, 2014 at 11:27 AM

I swear the south is the only sane spot in this country

neyney on April 21, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Being a true Irish RedNeck, I say thank you. Now, just don’t make fun of the way I talk. Bloody grins hearing me funny accented southern drawl. Chuckle.

HonestLib on April 21, 2014 at 11:30 AM

This is a fundamentally changed country and the benevolent dictators know what is best for us.

jukin3 on April 21, 2014 at 10:58 AM

When are we going to try the benevolent ones?

rhombus on April 21, 2014 at 11:35 AM

The UAW has subpoena powers?

p0s3r on April 21, 2014 at 10:58 AM

I would imagine any lawyer does.

Lanceman on April 21, 2014 at 11:36 AM

THIS…

Unions…stay in your own backyard with the rest of your corrupt cronies…

Sincerely,

The South

workingclass artist on April 21, 2014 at 10:46 AM

AND THESE…

I swear the south is the only sane spot in this country

neyney on April 21, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Keep Detroit in Detroit, thank you.

Sincerely,
The South.

Mini-14 on April 21, 2014 at 10:50 AM

AMEN

Doc Holliday on April 21, 2014 at 11:38 AM

I wonder how the vocal UAW supporters at the VW plant are feeling this morning.

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Don’t care about them, but the majority must be feeling relieved.

OldEnglish on April 21, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Local radio here (Detroit) is saying that it is a move to allow VW to recognize the union based on the card checks collected……that if they lost the appeal they would not have this avenue, but by withdrawing, it keeps the option open

Animal60 on April 21, 2014 at 11:51 AM

I love my state even though we keep sending Lamar Alexander to congress. If someone with a little money would challenge him they could beat him.
Have fun UAW…you jackasses.

Big Orange on April 21, 2014 at 12:04 PM

The UAW cannot waste more money on lawyer fees, with an upcoming election to rig, bribe and intimidate voters.

Sabercat2 on April 21, 2014 at 12:21 PM

As someone pointed out a few years ago there is a separate currency in TN which started in the backwoods.

The UAW thought it had an easy go of it and then could intimidate who it wanted.

Until it learned of the backwoods currency in TN.

It is called: The Browning.

You do the math.

ajacksonian on April 21, 2014 at 12:37 PM

As a dues paying UAW member, I say GOOD.

Murphy9 on April 21, 2014 at 12:39 PM

Holder intervening to force re-vote in 3, 2, 1…

KS Rex on April 21, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Repeal the Wagner Act.

Akzed on April 21, 2014 at 10:45 AM

This. For one thing, the Wagner Act legalizes violence by union thugs. It is clearly Unconstitutional no matter what courts say.

ConstantineXI on April 21, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Yes. Wagner has long outlived its need. I’d get rid of the Jones Act as well.

slickwillie2001 on April 21, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Looks like a big sad trombone for #Wiunion and other anti-RTW loons. SEIU and UAW are on the ropes, don’t let up now!

cosmoscon on April 21, 2014 at 12:54 PM

I really am surprised, since I figured the UAW, NLRB, and the Obama administration would somehow collude to force a re-vote. Wow. If the UAW couldn’t get even in with VW’s help, this pretty much slams the door on other Southern transplants.

Ward Cleaver on April 21, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Perhaps the UAW can sell its shares in GM and Chrysler to VW?

Another Drew on April 21, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Just means the UAW has a skeleton in it’s closet and the skeleton was about to get out. Funny what you find when subpoena’s get thrown around and the discovery get’s started.

TulsAmerican on April 21, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Largely all the UAW would have gotten out of this would have been another election to see whether the majority of voters wanted union representation. Unions hate the secret ballot because someone who may openly be the most rabid union supporter, holding placards, spouting all the right slogans and such, could in the privacy of the election booth decide that it wasn’t in his interest and vote against the union.

As most people understand, you still have to work with the others including all the other supporters of unionization — who largely buy into the idea that unionization would bring more benefits at no cost to themselves.

It does not take a lot of disgruntled people, on the losing end of an attempt to unionize, at a plant to make continued employment, for those they deem “responsible” for the failure, there difficult to unbearable.

Russ808 on April 21, 2014 at 1:59 PM

This isn’t over. In Obamaland there is no voting against a union.

ConstantineXI on April 21, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Indeed. The next steps wil come after November.

1. Look for the Dems and RINOS to ram card-check through Congress. After which there wlll no longer be secret ballots in these votes. After which the unions will win every one.

2. Look for the IRS, etc., to harass VW every way they can think of. If indeed they aren’t already.

3. Finally, with the Wagner Act in their back pocket, look for UAW and “sister unions” to sabotage or just blow up not just that plant, but every VW plant they can. To make sure everybody gets the message that “nobody f**ks wit’ da union”.

If they can’t control it, rule it, and exploit it, they will destroy it. Count on that.

clear ether

eon

eon on April 21, 2014 at 2:29 PM

This isn’t over. In Obamaland there is no voting against a union.

ConstantineXI on April 21, 2014 at 10:50 AM

There’s a reason it’s called the ObamiNation (just reverse the “o” and the “a” if you don’t appreciate the subtlety of a hand grenade in a barrel of oatmeal).

Perhaps the UAW can sell its shares in GM and Chrysler to VW?

Another Drew on April 21, 2014 at 1:16 PM

The UAW dumped its shares in Chrysler on the Italians. GM is now the new UAW Motors after the ObamiNation Treasury dumped its position just ahead of the NHTSA being given the green light to crucify GM over the Cobalt ignition switches.

Steve Eggleston on April 21, 2014 at 3:07 PM

**Note to self**….”Self”, must watch the Ed ‘Feldwebel’ Schultz show later today for what is sure to have loads of moonbattery, including high doses of howling, barking, wailing, moaning, gnashing of gnarly teeth, and quite possibly a few ‘HARUMPHS’ for good measure.

tanked59 on April 21, 2014 at 4:03 PM

This makes me ALL KINDS of happeh!!!!

pastselldate on April 21, 2014 at 7:07 PM