Anti-union staff win voice in UAW fight at VW’s Tenn. plant

If the NLRB holds a hearing on the disputed union election at VW’;s Tennessee plant, anti-UAW staff may possibly participate and make their case, along with the UAW.

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March eleven, 2014 – 3:26 pm ET — Up to date: 3/11/14 7:46 pm ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The National Labor Relations Board has made the decision that anti-union employees at Volkswagen AG can defend the outcomes of a mid-February union election that the UAW lost at the company’;s plant in Chattanooga.

The NLRB’;s unusual ruling on Monday gives anti-UAW groups, this kind of as the Nationwide Correct to Work Legal Defense Basis and Southern Momentum, far more leverage in the battle more than unionizing the plant.

The ruling means that if the NLRB holds a hearing on the dispute, the anti-UAW staff may possibly participate and make their case, along with the UAW. No hearing has been scheduled, however labor lawyers have said there likely will be a single.

The UAW is attempting to increase into the American South’;s non-union, foreign-owned auto assembly plants. But its work final month collided with opposition from senior Tennessee politicians, such as U.S. Senator Bob Corker and Governor Bill Haslam, both Republicans, as well as outside interest groups, like one from Washington that is headed by modest-government crusader Grover Norquist.

The UAW misplaced its energy to organize the VW plant when workers voted 712-626 not to join the union. It then asked the NLRB to set aside the final results of the election, arguing that outside parties compromised the approach.

The Chattanooga dispute is unusual in many methods. VW remained technically neutral during the UAW campaign, even though the German company gave the union entry to its amenities for the duration of the days foremost up to the election. Employers frequently oppose union campaigns. The automaker also stated it would not defend election outcomes prior to the board.

The NLRB’;s regional workplace in Atlanta is managing the UAW’;s challenge to the election. That workplace is investigating whether or not outside groups interfered in the election method. Its findings can be appealed to the 5-member NLRB board in Washington.

Former NLRB General Counsel Fred Feinstein said in an interview on Monday that the regional office’;s determination in the situation “is a couple of months off. And it could take a whole lot longer than that.”

Feinstein serves on the UAW’;s external evaluation board, which handles inner grievances and evaluations the selections produced by union leaders.

The NLRB’;s choice to permit the anti-UAW staff to intervene in the union’;s election challenge signifies that they are now events to the case. Employers and unions are typically the only events to an election challenge. So, it is “quite unusual” for outside groups or workers to seek – much significantly less attain – that status, Feinstein stated.

“It is diverse than currently being granted the potential to submit what are essentially amicus briefs, or opinions on the law and opinions about what took place,” Feinstein explained.

The Nationwide Proper to Function Legal Defense Foundation, based in the Washington region, mentioned in a statement that it was “quite pleased” with the NLRB selection.

A UAW representative declined to comment on the choice or on whether the union will ask the NLRB’;s board to evaluation it.

In the NLRB regional office’;s inquiry, the 2 sides can submit evidence. A hearing is typical, but not mandated, lawyers mentioned.

“The sole treatment right here is ordering a new election,” Feinstein explained.

Feinstein predicted it could be weeks ahead of a hearing, which could final anywhere from a handful of days to several weeks.

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