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Volkswagen Tries to Stop Union Election

The automaker is suing to stop the UAW from organizing maintenance and production employees

Posted on
Apr 26, 2019

The next step in the ongoing battle behind the United Autoworkers and VW is here as lawyers for the company are trying to stop a union election. Find out more from the Times Free Press.

A Volkswagen lawyer wants to strike down a request for a new union election at the Chattanooga plant, while a United Auto Workers attorney has stepped up the case for a vote.

"Volkswagen is not opposed to union elections as its history indicates," said VW attorney Arthur Carter in a legal brief to the National Labor Relations Board. "It does believe, however, that unions and governmental agencies should follow proper legal procedures in conducting elections."

But, UAW lawyer Michael Schoenfeld said the NLRB should dismiss VW's claims and set an election date at the plant, calling VW's argument "frivolous."

"Volkswagen's current maneuvering to avoid an election in a wall-to-wall unit that it has for years argued is the only appropriate unit at its assembly plant is disgraceful," he said. "Volkswagen's ridiculous challenge to the petitioned-for unit should be immediately rejected and an election ordered without further delay."

Meanwhile, a so-called union watchdog group, the Center for Union Facts, is launching a series of static and mobile billboards in Chattanooga and Detroit "to educate the public and hold the UAW accountable."

The legal haggling comes after a NLRB hearing in Chattanooga last week that could lead to a third UAW election at the German automaker's plant since 2014. An NLRB administrative hearing officer had given VW and UAW attorneys a week to submit legal briefs and entertained potential election dates in May should the board rule in the union's favor.

Carter argued in the brief that the NLRB should dismiss the union vote request because of prior certification of a group of maintenance, or skilled trades, workers.

Two weeks ago, some VW Chattanooga workers filed a petition for a new election at the plant to align maintenance and production employees with the UAW.

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