Top Down Organizing (card check) 

News Release

Volkswagen Workers Withdraw Lawsuit After Fending Off Imminent Unionization Threat

Workers’ vote quashes UAW unionization threat for one year

Chattanooga, TN (May 23, 2014) – Today, Volkswagen workers voluntarily withdrew their federal lawsuit challenging the United Autoworker (UAW) union officials' backroom organizing deal with company management during the union’s highly-publicized push to unionize the workers at VW's Chattanooga, Tennessee facility. The withdrawal was prompted by VW and UAW's attorneys' concessions in legal papers filed with the court that, having lost the election at the Chattanooga plant and dropped its objections to the result, the UAW cannot seek another election until sometime next year.

The case was initiated in March by the workers with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

"Having successfully defended the result of the vote against the UAW, the workers and their Foundation staff attorneys have made the strategic decision to withdraw their federal lawsuit against the UAW and Volkswagen," stated Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Foundation staff attorneys stand ready to provide free legal assistance to VW workers if VW and the UAW enter into another organizing deal or if UAW bosses resort to unlawful tactics at the plant again."

"When we filed this lawsuit, we were worried that the UAW union was going to be forced on us," stated plaintiff and Volkswagen team member Mike Jarvis. "Now that the vote has been certified, we want to move on, work with our fellow VW team members, and focus on building our award-winning cars."

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Chattanooga Volkswagen Workers Stave off UAW Union Boss Challenge

Foundation staff attorneys help employees preserve their decision to reject unionization

Springfield, VA (April 21, 2014) – The United Auto Worker (UAW) union has withdrawn its challenge of the Chattanooga Volkswagen workers' recent unionization vote with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation, issued the following statement in response to the recent media reports:

"This is a win for the workers of Volkswagen. The UAW did everything they could to silence opposition. First, Chattanooga VW employees managed to stave off a coercive unionization campaign even though the UAW and Volkswagen's German management colluded for over two years to stack the deck against the workers.

"Despite all of this, UAW union officials' still lost the vote. The result of the election came after the NLRB unprecedentedly fast-tracked the unionization process, further tilting the playing field in favor of UAW union officials.

"Second, the UAW attempted to exclude workers from protecting the outcome of the election. But, once UAW officials realized both sides of the case would be presented at the hearing, they withdrew rather than have their allegations disproved. We are pleased that the workers' vote will now stand.

"This case demonstrates once again the unreliability of union officials' 'card check' method of unionization, as the UAW continued to claim on the basis of cards that it had the support of a majority of Volkswagen team members and that no election was needed.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Volkswagen employees filed a brief defending their right to have a say in the high-profile unionization dispute.

National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys helped several VW workers file charges citing improprieties in the UAW union hierarchy's unionization campaign, including getting workers to sign union authorization cards by coercion and misrepresentation and using cards signed too long ago to be legally valid. Some of those workers also filed a federal charge against the company stating that comments made by German VW officials illegally attempted to intimidate their fellow workers into accepting UAW monopoly bargaining power over their workplace.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

NLRB Rejects UAW's Attempts to Silence Chattanooga VW Workers' in Unionization Vote Hearing

UAW union bosses move to eject workers from process

Washington, DC (April 16, 2014) –The United Auto Workers (UAW) union officials' request to exclude Chattanooga, Tennessee Volkswagen workers seeking to defend the recent unionization vote in their workplace has been rejected by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

The VW employees filed the motion to intervene with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys after the UAW union filed objections to the recent highly-publicized election in their workplace.

UAW union officials filed the objections with the NLRB after Chattanooga VW workers voted against giving the UAW monopoly bargaining control over the plant via a rapid-fire unionization election.

In response, the workers filed a motion to intervene in the objection process to defend the election results. The NLRB Acting Regional Director in Atlanta ruled to allow the workers to defend the vote during the proceedings. UAW union officials then appealed the Regional Director's decision to the Board in Washington, D.C.

Mark Mix, President of National Right to Work, issued the following statement in the wake of the NRLB's ruling:

"The NLRB Acting Regional Director ruled that the workers are entitled to defend the election results. The decision over whether or not to unionize is supposed to lie with the workers, which makes the attempt by the UAW to shut them out of this process all the more shameful.

"And based on Volkswagen management's actions leading up to this point, these workers are concerned that VW will not actively defend their vote to remain free from union boss control and the workers' intervention ensures that at least one party to the process is fully invested in upholding the election results.

"The real question here is: Why are UAW officials so afraid of workers and their National Right to Work Foundation-provided attorneys being part of this process?"

Foundation staff attorneys representing the VW employees will attend the NLRB hearing on Monday, April 21.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Volkswagen Workers' Brief Blasts UAW Bosses' Desperate and Delusional Attempt to Silence Dissenting Employees

Foundation staff attorneys help employees preserve their decision to reject unionization

Springfield, VA (April 3, 2014) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, five Volkswagen employees filed a brief defending their right to have a say in the high-profile unionization dispute at Volkswagen's Chattanooga, Tennessee facility.

The brief was filed after the United Auto Worker (UAW) union asked the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to reverse a Regional Director’s ruling allowing the workers to intervene in the union's challenge to the outcome of the recent unionization election, which the UAW lost.

The brief opposes further delays to the NLRB's hearing on the union's challenge, and accuses the UAW of using false evidence to prompt the Board to remove the workers from the process. The brief also calls for a Department of Justice investigation to consider a prosecution of the UAW's "witness" for filing demonstrably false statements under oath.

The brief states, "That the UAW resorted to filing a false declaration that could be so easily disproved to attempt to show the existence of a grand and secret conspiracy being waged against it smacks of the desperation and paranoia increasingly gripping the union following its rejection by Volkswagen employees in the election."

The brief then points out that the UAW's false accusations against the Foundation are not reason enough to exclude the workers even if the accusations were true. The brief states "The UAW's case proceeds from the misguided premise that it is objectionable if any entity campaigned or spoke against the union in the election. While this belief may reflect how elections are conducted in Venezuela or North Korea, it does not reflect how elections are conducted in this free nation."

Patrick Semmens, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation, issued the following statement:

"The NLRB Regional Director has ruled that the workers are entitled to defend their vote to keep the UAW out of their workplace. The decision over whether or not to unionize is supposed to lie with the workers, which makes the attempt by the UAW to shut them out of this process all the more shameful.

"The UAW's latest claims are both desperate and delusional. Nothing UAW bosses are claiming changes the fact that VW employees should have the right to defend their vote to keep the UAW out of their workplace. The real question the brief raises is: Why are UAW officials so afraid of workers and their National Right to Work Foundation-provided attorneys being part of this process?"

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Chattanooga Volkswagen Workers File Federal Suit to Block Further Company and UAW Collusion

Workers rely on Foundation-won precedent establishing that union demands for organizing assistance can violate federal labor law

Washington, DC (March 13, 2014) – Employees at Volkswagen's Chattanooga, Tennessee facility have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block further collusion between the company and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union should the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) order a new unionization election at VW's Chattanooga plant.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, the workers filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.

After losing last month's unionization election, UAW union officials filed objections with the NLRB seeking to overturn the election results. Five VW workers represented by Right to Work Foundation attorneys then successfully moved to intervene in the UAW's challenge of the election results.

The new suit relies on Foundation-won precedent upheld by a federal appeals court that a Florida casino company's assistance to union officials during a card check unionization campaign could constitute "thing[s] of value" under the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA). Under the LMRA, employers are prohibited from handing over "any money or other thing of value" to union officials, a provision that is supposed to prevent them from selling out workers' rights in exchange for corporate concessions.

Late last year, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments and then "dismissed as improvidently granted" a union appeal of a federal court ruling that these neutrality schemes could violate federal law, thus leaving the lower court's ruling intact.

The suit contends that the neutrality arrangement between VW and UAW union organizers contain numerous such prohibited provisions, including mandatory pro-union meetings, use of company property by outside UAW organizers, and clauses preventing VW and its managers from opposing unionization, all of which were implemented in the lead up to the vote that UAW lost 712-626.

In exchange for that valuable organizing assistance, the UAW promised the company that, once workers were unionized, UAW officials would delegate many of the union's duties to a German-style Works Council, limit bargaining demands to ensure company "cost advantages," and not go on strike. Further, the UAW promised not to make negative comments about VW or to conduct organizing activity for one year if the union lost the election.

"UAW union officials and Volkswagen management have colluded to deprive these workers of a fair vote from the start," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Enough is enough, which is why these workers are seeking to prevent further VW assistance to the UAW's organizing efforts."

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

NLRB Agrees to Allow VW Workers to Intervene to Defend Union Election Results

Foundation staff attorneys help employees defend their secret-ballot vote to keep the UAW out of their workplace

Springfield, VA (March 10, 2014) – The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has just granted a motion to intervene filed by five Volkswagen employees in the United Auto Worker union’s legal challenge to the outcome of the recent unionization election at VW’s Chattanooga plant. All five employees are receiving free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation.

Patrick Semmens, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation, issued the following statement:

“We are very pleased that, despite attempts by Volkswagen and UAW officials to keep workers out of this process, the acting Regional Director has ruled that the workers are entitled to defend their vote to keep the UAW out of their workplace. The decision over whether or not to unionize is supposed to lie with the workers, which makes the attempt by VW and the UAW to shut them out of this process all the more shameful.”

Foundation staff attorneys earlier helped several VW workers file charges citing improprieties in the UAW's unionization campaign in Chattanooga, including union attempts to get workers to sign union authorization cards through coercion and misrepresentation and the UAW’s use of cards signed too long ago to be legally valid. Some of those workers also filed a federal charge against Volkswagen after company officials made comments linking unionization to increased production at the Chattanooga facility.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Worker Advocate Testifies before Congress on the Dangers of the NLRB’s Proposed Election Rules

Foundation staff attorney explains how rule changes undermine workers’ rights

Washington, DC (March 5, 2014) – This morning, National Right to Work Foundation staff attorney William Messenger testified before the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce on the dangers of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) proposed election rules.

The committee, which is chaired by Rep. John Kline (R-MN), held a hearing entitled “Culture of Union Favoritism: The Return of the NLRB’s Ambush Election Rule” on a series of election rule changes proposed by the NLRB that leave employees uninformed about potential downsides to unionization.

Messenger, a veteran Foundation staff attorney who has argued before the Supreme Court, contends that dramatically shortening the period before unionization elections will hurt workers’ ability to cast an informed vote.

“The short time frame under the proposed rules will make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for individual employees opposed to unionization to organize against a union’s well-funded and professionally orchestrated campaign to win the monopoly bargaining privilege,” wrote Messenger in testimony submitted to the Committee prior to the hearing.

“The NLRB continues to try to rig the game in favor of aggressive union organizers,” said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “The National Right to Work Foundation, which represents thousands of employees nationwide, opposes these rule changes because they would prevent workers from making an informed decision about unionization.”

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Volkswagen Workers File Motion to Defend Against UAW Union Boss NLRB Election Objections

UAW union bosses lost secret-ballot unionization election, but Volkswagen appears unwilling to defend workers' rejection of the UAW

Washington, DC (February 25, 2014) – Five Chattanooga, Tennessee Volkswagen workers have filed a motion to intervene after the United Auto Workers (UAW) union filed objections to an election in which workers at VW's Chattanooga facility voted against unionization.

The five workers filed the motion to intervene with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

Late last week, UAW union officials filed the objections with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) after Chattanooga VW workers voted against giving the UAW union hierarchy monopoly bargaining control over the plant via a rapid-fire unionization election.

Foundation staff attorneys earlier helped several VW workers file charges citing improprieties in the UAW's unionization campaign, including getting workers to sign union authorization cards by coercion and misrepresentation and using cards signed too long ago to be legally valid. Some of those workers also filed a federal charge against the company after German VW officials made comments linking unionization to more production for the facility.

Just days after the NLRB dismissed the workers' charges, the NLRB approved a rapid-fire unionization election. On January 27, VW and the UAW struck a backroom "neutrality" deal that called for the election after just nine days, provided UAW union operatives with nearly unfettered access to the facility, paid workers to attend pro-UAW captive audience meetings, and required company management to "align" their public statements with union officials.

"Based on Volkswagen management's actions leading up to this point, these workers are concerned that VW will not actively defend their vote to remain free from union boss control," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "That's why these workers have filed a motion to intervene with the help of National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys."

Mix continued: "The NLRB should immediately grant the employees' motion to intervene in the election certification process to ensure that one party to the process is fully invested in upholding the election results. Otherwise, UAW officials with the approval of VW and a pro-union NLRB will be able to continually throw out election results until they get the result they want."

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Worker Advocate Reacts After UAW Officials File Objections to Overturn Chattanooga VW Workers' Vote

With Foundation free legal aid, workers will exercise every legal option to ensure that their vote is upheld

Washington, DC (February 21, 2014) – United Auto Workers (UAW) union officials have filed objections with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to the results of a unionization election in which workers at Volkswagen America's Chattanooga, Tennessee facility voted against giving the UAW union hierarchy monopoly bargaining control over the plant. Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation, issued the following statement in response to the UAW's objections:

"Chattanooga VW employees managed to stave off a coercive unionization campaign even though the UAW and VW officials colluded for over two years to stack the deck against the workers. The result of this election came after the NLRB further tilted the playing field in favor of UAW union officials by fast-tracking the unionization process. Despite all of this, UAW union officials still lost the vote.

"Now, UAW union officials are blaming everyone but themselves for swaying the vote against the union, while neglecting the fact that members of VW Germany management threatened workers to unionize or miss out on more work. Even President Obama weighed in with support for unionization. Obviously, the UAW's complaints about 'outside influences' only apply to those that oppose the UAW.

"In the past, the NLRB has refused to uphold employer objections to unionization elections in which politicians acting at the behest of the UAW seemingly swayed the vote's outcome in favor of the union. Foundation staff attorneys plan to exercise every legal option for workers who support the election's result, because they are concerned that Volkswagen will not actively defend the employees' vote."

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Worker Advocate Reacts to Chattanooga Volkswagen Workers' Rejection of UAW Union Bosses

Labor Board tilted playing field to benefit union bosses

Washington, DC (February 14, 2014) – Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation, issued the following statement after the announcement today that a majority of workers voting at Volkswagen America's Chattanooga, Tennessee facility voted against giving the United Auto Workers (UAW) union hierarchy monopoly bargaining control over the plant via a rapid-fire unionization election:

"Chattanooga VW employees managed to stave off a coercive unionization campaign even though the UAW and Volkswagen's German management colluded for over two years to stack the deck against the workers. Volkswagen Germany board members wanted UAW union officials to gain monopoly bargaining powers over the Chattanooga facility so that they don't have to compete with nonunion VW workers in America.

"The result of this election comes after the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) unprecedentedly fast-tracked the unionization process, further tilting the playing field in favor of UAW union officials. It also demonstrates once again the unreliability of union officials' 'card check' method of unionization, as the UAW continued to claim on the basis of cards that it had the support of a majority of Volkswagen team members and that no election was needed.

"Despite all of this, UAW union officials' still lost the vote. If UAW union officials cannot win when the odds are so stacked in their favor, perhaps they should reevaluate the product they are selling to workers."

National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys helped several VW workers file charges citing improprieties in the UAW union hierarchy's unionization campaign, including getting workers to sign union authorization cards by coercion and misrepresentation and using cards signed too long ago to be legally valid. Some of those workers also filed a federal charge against the company stating that comments made by German VW officials illegally intimidated their fellow workers into accepting UAW monopoly bargaining power over their workplace.

After the NLRB dismissed those charges, Foundation attorneys asked the NLRB's Inspector General to investigate the agency's conduct during its processing of the workers' unfair labor practice charges. Foundation attorneys received evidence that the agency's actions undermined their ability to advise their clients before the dismissal of their cases became publicly known.

Just days after the NLRB dispatched the workers' charges, the NLRB approved a rapid-fire unionization election. John Raudabaugh, a law professor and former NLRB member, was quoted by the media as saying, "I have never seen such a quick election."

Foundation attorneys 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 National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.

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