United Auto Workers (UAW) withdrew its appeal Monday morning to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to void the results of Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tenn. plant’s recent election, in which workers voted to remain non-union.
But the union’s decision to withdraw the long-shot appeal — which was predicated on the notion that the election was tainted by outside statements including those of Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker — is seen by insiders as evidence that the union is working with Volkswagen to get what it wants another way.
“The union has spent way too much money for this to be over,” Center for Worker Freedom executive director Matt Patterson told The Daily Caller, citing sources who said that UAW is planning to unionize the plant another way. UAW is suspected of cutting a back-room deal with Volkswagen that would be undermined by a loss at Monday’s planned NLRB hearing.
“Volkswagen is considering at the very highest levels just recognizing the union anyway. I fear this is a sign of that to come,” Patterson said.
The Chattanooga plant’s February secret-ballot vote to remain non-union was seen as a major triumph for the right-to-work community. But Volkswagen has since been under intense pressure from the company’s highly influential German union — IG-METAL — to figure out how to void the election result. UAW president Bob King has long courted IG-METAL’s support.
UAW collected authorization cards last year from workers, but their claim that they gained enough cards to be legally accepted as the union in the plant was never documented and a secret-ballot election was held instead that ended up embarrassing both UAW and Volkswagen corporate brass.
However, a company like Volkswagen is allowed to take the union’s word for it in a card-check election without showing proof that the union gained the minimum number of authorization cards.