DOL Giving UAW, IG Metall, VW “De Facto Immunity”


From the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation:

Worker Advocate Urges Labor Secretary: Apply Federal Disclosure Law to German Union and VW Works Council

Foreign union boss groups conspire to force workers into union ranks without complying with federal disclosure requirements 

Washington, DC (November 17, 2014) – Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, is urging U.S. Labor Department Secretary Thomas Perez to apply federal labor disclosure law to German union and Volkswagen (VW) officials involved in an international push to unionize workers at VW’s Chattanooga, Tennessee facility.

The Foundation – the nation’s premier advocate on behalf of workers who suffer from the abuses of compulsory unionism – assisted several workers who were subjected to coercive card check unionization tactics and pressure from VW management during the United Auto Workers (UAW) union’s multi-year campaign to unionize the workers. The Foundation also assisted some of those workers in filing a federal suit that challenged the company’s assistance to UAW union officials during the unionization campaign as an illegal exchange of “thing[s] of value” under the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA).

In a letter to Perez (download letter), Mix spells out how officials from the German-based IG Metall union, VW’s Global Group Works Council (GWC), the UAW union, and VW Germany have participated in “high-profile public activities…that trigger Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) reporting requirements.” Mix notes that the U.S. Department of Labor has thus far ignored this fact, and if it continues to do so, union and company officials “may receive de facto immunity for their possible violations of the LMRDA’s criminal and civil protections.”

The LMRDA requires union officials to make comprehensive and detailed disclosure of union financial data, prohibits persons convicted of serious crimes from serving as union officers, forces full reporting by union officers of any personal conflict-of-interest transactions, and prohibits the channeling of bribes and improper influence through middlemen.

“As it stands now, American employees of Volkswagen do not know what inside arrangements exist among UAW, IG Metall, Global Works Council, and VW,” Mix states in the letter to Perez. “I call on you to immediately use your authorized powers to demand [disclosure reports] from IG Metall and the Global Works Council.”