Just how far are top bosses of the United Auto Workers (UAW/AFL-CIO) union and their agents willing to go to secure monopoly-bargaining power over production employees at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn.?
According to a number of independent-minded employees at the plant who prefer to remain union-free, UAW agents have actually resorted to bribery in order to obtain so-called signed “union authorization” cards from VW employees, cards that UAW Region 8 Director Gary Casteel is now trying to use to browbeat managers. Casteel and his boss, UAW President Bob King, are now insisting that VW management recognize UAW officers as their Chattanooga employees’ monopoly-bargaining agents, based exclusively on the evidence of the signed cards, without even giving employees a chance to vote first.
Attorneys for the National Right to Work Committee’s sister organization, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, are providing advice and support for employees who are fighting UAW union bosses’ Tennessee power grab. (See the first link below for a special Foundation notice for VW’s Chattanooga employees.)
Pro-Right to Work employees report that they have collected hundreds of signatures from their fellow workers for a petition urging VW management to give them a chance to vote “No” before granting union kingpins “exclusive” power to negotiate with the company over wages, benefits and work rules. Under federal labor law, such a deal would make the UAW union hierarchy the sole spokesman for all production employees, union members and nonmembers alike, on important matters relating to their jobs. Fortunately, in Right to Work states like Tennessee, workers at least have the right to refuse to join or bankroll an unwanted union that is recognized as their monopoly-bargaining agent.
Many of the employees who are now signing the petition opposing so-called “card-check recognition” of UAW bosses earlier signed UAW “authorization” cards after being, by their own account, misinformed and/or intimidated by union organizers. And new reports (see the print version of a WRCB-TV, Chatanooga news account in the second link below, for example) indicate UAW agents may also be resorting to bribery:
Carol Wilson signed a card a year and a half ago but had it revoked. She is afraid if the union moves in her job might be in jeopardy.
“Personally, I feel intimidated because I’m thinking, ‘Ok, it’s a right to work state. Am I going to have a job tomorrow if the union comes in? They’re going to replace us with other union people that are out of work right now,'” says Wilson.
She and other workers claim UAW influenced some employees to sign pledge cards with free meals and tickets to Lake Winnie.
“I know somebody that got nine tickets to go to Lake Winnie to go sign a card,” says Wilson.
How soon will VW make a decision on UAW cards?