The United Auto Workers (UAW) has decided to challenge the results of the Volkswagen unionization election in Chattanooga, Tenn., arguing that Republican lawmakers interfered by commenting publicly on it, Reuters reports.
The UAW claims that the election suffered from “interference” by “a coordinated and widely publicized coercive campaign conducted by politicians and outside organizations to deprive Volkswagen workers of their federally protected right to join a union.” The challenge will be reviewed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which has the ability to void the election.
Shortly before the election, Republican politicians made comments against the unionization effort spearheaded by the UAW. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee said, “I’ve had conversations today and based on those am assured that should the workers vote against the UAW, Volkswagen will announce in the coming weeks that it will manufacture its new mid-size SUV here in Chattanooga.”
Similarly, Republican state senator Bo Watson said, “Should the workers at Volkswagen choose to be represented by the United Auto Workers, then I believe any additional incentives from the citizens of the state of Tennessee for expansion or otherwise will have a very tough time passing the Tennessee Senate.”
National Review Online recently reported that in previous cases, the NLRB did not throw out election results because of comments or actions by politicians. However, the current board has a pro-union majority, so the results of the challenge are difficult to predict.