Lawsuit Filed In Chattanooga Federal Court By Anti-UAW VW Employees; UAW Responds

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Anti-UAW employees at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga facility have filed a lawsuit in Chattanooga Federal Court "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."

The suit was filed with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys. Chattanooga attorney Bill Horton filed the suit.

Plaintiffs are Michael Burton, Michael Jarvis and David Reed.

Defendants are the United Auto Workers and Volkswagen. 

UAW President Bob King issued the following statement in reaction to the lawsuit filed by the National Right to Work Legal Foundation:
“The lawsuit filed by the National Right to Work Legal Foundation is baseless. At the time it negotiated its Election Agreement with Volkswagen Group of America, the UAW had already established for the Company that it was the majority representative of hourly Volkswagen employees, on the lawful basis of authorization cards signed by a majority of such employees. Moreover, even if the UAW had not demonstrated this status, the UAW's Election Agreement with Volkswagen Group of America would still be lawful, just like many other neutrality agreements the UAW and other unions have negotiated with employers throughout the United States.

“The National Right to Work Legal Foundation has a history of frivolous lawsuits trying to stop workers from joining the UAW, including failed lawsuits at Dana and Freightliner.”

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.

Attorneys filing the suit said, "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.”

Click here to read the lawsuit.

Attorney General Says State Cannot Refuse To Accept Syrian Refugees

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slattery III says in an opinion that the state cannot legally refuse to accept Syrian refugees. In the opinion issued Monday, he stated, "Such a refusal would impinge on and conflict with the federal government's authority to regulate the admission of aliens to the United States and thus would violate the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution." ... (click for more)

Rite Aid On Apison Pike Robbed By Man With Note Threatening To Blow Up A Bomb

Collegedale Police said the Rite Aid on Apison Pike was robbed shortly after 3 p.m. o n Monday by a man wearing a ski cap . Witnesses say the suspect came in and was initially asking about back braces, but returned with a folder that contained a note. The suspect’s note said that employees were to give him high levels of controlled substances or he would blow the bomb ... (click for more)

Why Are We Allowing Poor Architecture And Urban Design Downtown?

   Over the past four decades our fair city has enjoyed striking improvements to our City Center and Northshore areas in large part due to citizen input and the guidance of the former Urban Design Studio. We are now widely recognized as a hotbed of entrepreneurship, neighborhood revitalization and good Urban Design. At the most recent City Council meeting, the leader and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Great Thanksgiving

In order for you to best understand this, last Thursday was the first Thanksgiving I have ever spent alone.  Don’t misunderstand, I had a fistful of kind invitations but I am the only remaining member of my immediate family around here and I guess I started dwelling on that a little too much as the holiday neared. Making out my “thankful” list helped, and I ate enough with ... (click for more)

Foster and Auriemma - Hall of Fame Coaches – Meet at McKenzie Arena Tonight

  A young basketball coach with lots of drive and knowledge but little money was in desperate need of a dependable car to get from home to work and back. A good friend gave his reliable $100 car to the coach and went out and replaced it with another $100 car. That same friend – also an up-and-coming coach – had also helped his brother a few years earlier by taking a ... (click for more)

Ryan Parker and Traneil Moore Are Mr Football Winners

Senior Ryan Parker of Baylor School and junior Traneil Moore of  East Ridge have been selected as Tennessee Titans Mr. Football winners for 2015. Parker is the D-II AA Lineman of the Year and Moore is the D-I 3A Back of the Year Ryan Parker - Baylor School ... senior linebacker/running back ... 2015 stats included 95 tackles, 30 tackles for loss, eight quarterback sacks, ... (click for more)