Union opponents sue Volkswagen, UAW over Tennessee plant

March 13, 2014 – 4:18 pm ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — 3 staff opposing unionization have sued Volkswagen and the UAW in a U.S. court, alleging that VW and the union improperly colluded in the run-up to a union election in Tennessee that the UAW lost.

The lawsuit marks the newest fallout from a hard-fought contest at VW’;s plant in Chattanooga, exactly where employees voted 712-626 last month not to join the UAW. The union is asking federal regulators to scrap that outcome and hold a new election.

Filed on Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, the complaint alleges VW provided “things of worth” to the UAW in the unionization drive, violating the Labor Management Relations Act.

VW managers assisted the UAW in days top up to the mid-February election by agreeing not to oppose its unionization drive, granting the union access to its home and enabling it to meet with employees throughout perform hrs, the lawsuit explained.

The LMRA bars employers from paying or delivering a “point of value” to the labor union representing its workers.

“UAW union officials and Volkswagen management have colluded to deprive these employees of a honest vote from the commence,” Mark Combine, president of the Nationwide Correct to Function Legal Defense Basis, mentioned in a statement.

“Ample is enough, which is why these workers are in search of to prevent more VW help to the UAW’;s organizing efforts,” added Mix, whose Washington, D.C. spot-based mostly group launches legal actions towards unions across the United States.

The group, which does not disclose the identities of its economic backers, is providing free legal counsel to the staff who filed Wednesday’;s lawsuit.

A VW representative in Chattanooga declined to comment.

UAW President Bob King dismissed the accusations produced by the trio of workers who filed the lawsuit as baseless.

“The Nationwide Correct to Work Legal Basis has a background of frivolous lawsuits trying to stop staff from joining the UAW,” King explained in a statement today.

UAW Common Counsel Michael Nicholson mentioned in an interview that the UAW and VW agreed not to fight above the union’;s campaign only after VW was proven by the union that it had the support of the vast majority of the proposed bargaining unit.

“It truly is a simple premise of the National Labor Relations Act that employers are entitled to reach agreements with majority-supported unions,” Nicholson explained.

Harvard Law School Professor Benjamin Sachs said VW “could have acknowledged” the UAW as the union representing its staff when the organizing agreement with VW was signed. Though the events agreed alternatively to proceed to a formal election overseen by the U.S. Nationwide Labor Relations Board, “the concept VW couldn’;t give organizers access to the house is meritless,” Sachs mentioned.

Wednesday’;s lawsuit is the latest twist in the UAW’;s push to unionize a foreign-owned automobile plant in the U.S. South.

In its challenge just before the NLRB to the Chattanooga election, the UAW has alleged that politicians and outside groups compromised the approach by generating anti-union statements in the days just before the Feb. twelve-14 vote.

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