Today, an article on RealClearMarketsraises more questions regarding the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) conduct in the United Autoworker (UAW) union boss push to gain monopoly power over Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga, Tennessee:
What is unusual about this election for United Auto Workers representation?...
The speedy election was coordinated with the National Labor Relations Board, which was unusually cooperative in approving the election petition. Although the election was only nine days away, the board immediately agreed to set up an election during a three-day period. The NLRB must organize and supervise the election, and count the ballots. How odd that on February 3 the Board had time available from February 12 to 14 to do this, a big favor for the United Auto Workers.
Former NLRB board member John N. Raudabaugh, now a law professor, told me, "I have never seen such a quick election."
As you may recall, National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys are assisting several workers who challenged the UAW's and VW's coercive unionization tactics at the Chattanooga VW facility. After a three month investigation, the NLRB's Division of Advice issued two memos instructing the NLRB Regional Director in Atlanta to dismiss the workers' charges.
Moreover, NLRB staff in Washington, DC, hurriedly released the Division's instructions to members of the press and did not release the memos to the workers' Foundation staff attorneys.
A leaked email shows that the Regional Director in Atlanta questioned the propriety of the memos' release to the media, contrary to longstanding NLRB practice.
Foundation attorneys are concerned that the NLRB's hurried public release of memos favorable to VW and the UAW right before a high-profile election, and its approval of a quick-snap election within hours of VW requesting one, calls into question the agency's impartiality in the workers' cases.
Foundation staff attorneys have requested an official inquiry into the NLRB's conduct in the case, and also filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the NLRB seeking full disclosure regarding the agency's handling of the case and its contacts with UAW agents.
The NLRB's actions in this case continue to raise questions about its impartiality going forward.
Unionization election reportedly scheduled for February 12
Washington, DC (February 3, 2014) – Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation, issued the following statement after the announcement today that Volkswagen America has petitioned the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a rapid-fire United Auto Workers (UAW) unionization election in its Chattanooga plant:
"We're pleased that despite constant calls by UAW officials to be recognized as the workers' monopoly bargaining representative via card check recognition, Volkswagen workers will instead be given a chance to vote on the matter in a secret-ballot election. A secret-ballot election is what Foundation-assisted workers were asking for all along.
"However, we are concerned about the existence of backroom deals cut between Volkswagen and UAW officials giving union organizers preferential access to the workers leading up to the election. We call on VW to give workers opposing the union equal access and also to release any agreements it has signed regarding what would happen if the UAW union takes monopoly bargaining power over the workplace, including agreements to impose a so-called works council on the employees.
"VW workers should be given all the facts before the election so that they can make an informed choice, and we will oppose efforts to stampede them or tilt the playing field."
Union officials refused to acknowledge worker's request to exercise right to refrain from union dues payments
Mesa, AZ (January 30, 2014) – With the help of National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a local transit worker has won a federal settlement after union officials violated his right to refrain from paying union dues or fees.
David Azbell worked as a bus driver for Veolia Transportation and then for First Transit, which took over Veolia Transportation's contract with the city. In June 2013, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1433 union officials were considering calling a strike against the new company to pressure company management into entering a monopoly bargaining agreement with the union.
Unsatisfied with the ATU Local 1433 union officials' so-called "representation," Azbell hand-delivered a letter to a union official stating that under Arizona's Right to Work law he was resigning his union membership and refraining from paying union dues. When Azbell submitted his letter of resignation, the union official told him that the union hierarchy would still continue to take union dues from his paychecks.
Leaked internal emails bring agency's impartiality further into question
Washington, DC (January 29, 2014) – National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, led by former National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Member John Raudabaugh, have requested an official inquiry into the NLRB's conduct in adjudicating several Chattanooga Volkswagen America workers' charges against VW and the United Auto Worker (UAW) union during the on-going, highly-contentious UAW organizing campaign.
Foundation staff attorneys have asked the NLRB's Inspector General to investigate the agency's conduct during its processing of the workers' unfair labor practice charges that the NLRB Division of Advice instructed the NLRB Regional Director in Atlanta to dismiss.
Hoosier citizens contest spurious union legal challenge
Crown Point, IN (January 14, 2014) – Two Indiana citizens have submitted an amicus curiae brief to defend Indiana's Right to Work law from a union legal challenge pending in state court.
The two workers, Douglas Richards and David Brubaker, filed the brief with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys. The brief was filed together with the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center.
The case is a lawsuit filed by the United Steelworker (USW) union that makes a number of dubious claims about Indiana's recently-enacted Right to Work law, including the argument that unions have a right to force workers to pay for their unwanted services.