Planet Gore

VW Vote: Labor Defeats Big Labor

The United Auto Workers and their “progressive” White House ally, President Barack Obama, insist that they are the champions of the working man. It’s notable, then, that the working men and women of Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tenn., plant rejected the UAW in a vote to unionize last week.

The VW workers apparently figured out that union bosses and their Democratic puppets are the most regressive force in American manufacturing today.

The stunning defeat came despite the fact that VW, under pressure from its German union IG Metall, had surrendered the playing field to the UAW. Under a decidedly non-neutral “neutrality agreement,” the UAW was allowed to set up a union vote drive office inside the plant – a right denied UAW opponents. Further stacking the deck in favor of the union, the Democrat-stacked National Labor Relations Board scheduled the secret ballot vote just nine days — instead of the usual 38-42 days — after VW filed a vote petition.

But all this maneuvering could not obscure the fact that Big Labor/Obama are a barrier to job creation. The UAW, after all, used union dues to lobby for Obamacare in 2012 — a law that even labor leaders now concede “will destroy the very health and well-being of our members.” UAW greed was key to the bankruptcies of both GM and Chrysler. And U.S. manufacturing has been experiencing a mini-resurgence in part due to European companies — like VW — fleeing the Old Country’s anti-growth wages, work rules, and high energy costs for the right-to-work American South.

So why would Tennessee workers vote to impose the very things that made VW flee to Tennessee in the first place?

The vote was another defeat for President Obama who came to Detroit in late 2012 in a last-ditch effort to defeat Michigan’s right-to-work law. Obama lost that vote (Michiganders are tired of seeing jobs go south) and lost again after a similar desperation effort last Friday to tip the scales to his union-boss pals.

UAW President Bob King says Big Labor has learned its lessons and that a unionized VW would be evidence of a new Labor Day in America. But the union’s bullying tactics in Chattanooga were proof that little has changed. The UAW tried to short-circuit a secret ballot with a “card check” campaign last fall. When eight VW workers filed charges of UAW “misrepresentations, coercion, threats, and promises” resulting in “tainted cards,” VW ultimately agreed to a proper, democratic, secret-ballot election.

The resulting vote was heard loud and clear last week: Big Labor is no friend of labor.

Henry Payne — Henry Payne is the auto critic for the Detroit News.

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