Mar. 11, 2014

Big Labor, Bad Losers

The UAW refuses to take no for an answer and appeals Volkswagen's rejection.

If at first you don’t succeed, blame Republicans and get your cronies in high places to let you try again. That seems to be the strategy of the United Auto Workers, a group that couldn’t take the hint they weren’t exactly welcome in the right-to-work state of Tennessee.

After losing a 712-626 secret ballot vote at the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant, the UAW is appealing to the National Labor Relations Board on the grounds that statements by Republican legislators at both the state and federal levels gave the opposition an unfair advantage. Calling these tactics “a coordinated and widely-publicized coercive campaign,” the union wants the results thrown out based on the Laboratory Conditions Doctrine adopted in a 1948 case, where the NLRB held that unionization votes have to be conducted as free from interference as possible. Translation: the union wants their shop floor propaganda to be accepted without question. The management in the Volkswagen plant was more than cooperative with the UAW, giving their plant allies easy access to workers while denying the same for anti-union workers. In a truly fair fight, the results may have been even more lopsided against the UAW.

Oddly enough, in cases where Laboratory Conditions have come into play, the complaint was from the employer charging that the union was overly aggressive in its campaign, and in two recent cases the NLRB ruled that union interference wasn’t blatant enough to overturn an election in their favor. But since the shoe is now on the other foot, and knowing the current political composition of the NLRB, it’s likely the UAW will receive its second try – and maybe a third, fourth, fifth, and so on until they get the results they want.

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