Union bosses used controversial rule to gain a foothold in Chattanooga VW plant after previous floor-wide votes failed

Washington, D.C. (February 3, 2017) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a worker in the Chattanooga, Tennessee Volkswagen plant has filed an amicus curiae brief with the D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals asking the court to overturn the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision that allowed United Auto Workers (UAW) union bosses to gain access to the plant’s workers through a micro-unit scheme.

In February 2014 workers at the plant rejected UAW union representation in an NLRB sanctioned election. Undeterred, UAW bosses sought to gain a foothold in the plant through a 2011 NLRB decision that allows for what is termed “micro-unit organizing.” The recent NLRB decision allows union officials to gerrymander specific groups of employees into micro-units for union representation votes. In December 2015, the UAW used this tactic to win a vote for a micro-unit, thus imposing a coercive one size-fits-all monopoly bargaining contract on those workers.

Patrick Penderfraft is one of the workers in the VW micro-unit who voted against union representation. He opposed the UAW’s gerrymandering of workers to gain a victory in the vote. The Foundation has now assisted him in filing a brief in D.C. Circuit Court arguing that his vote on union representation was diluted because the micro-unit was substantially made up of pro-union employees rather than the whole workplace which had already rejected unionization.

In previous years, Foundation attorneys assisted workers in fighting back against other UAW union boss schemes to unionize the plant, including through card check organizing.

National Right to Work Foundation Mark Mix commented, “The gerrymandering scheme that union bosses used to gain a foothold in the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant is unfair to the workers who voted against union representation only to have the ground rules changed and now are forced into a monopoly union. All workers should have the right to decide on union membership through a secret-ballot election, like the one that took place in 2014 in which union bosses were rejected, instead of through manipulated micro-unit schemes.”

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, assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases nationwide per year.

Posted on Feb 3, 2017 in News Releases