Eight Volkswagen employees have filed federal charges with the National Labor Relations Board against the United Auto Workers Union related to the ongoing efforts to unionize the local plant.
The employees allege that UAW representatives misled and coerced them to "forfeit their rights in what is now a 'card check' unionization drive," according to the National Right to Work Foundation, whose attorneys have offered free legal assistance to the VW workers.
The charges state that UAW organizers told VW workers that a signature on the card was to call for a secret ballot unionization election.
They also allege other improprieties in the card check process, such as using cards that were signed too long ago to be legally valid.
The charges ask the NLRB to order UAW Union officials to cease and desist from demanding recognition based upon the tainted cards, also according to the National Labor Relations Board.
Click here for more information on how the NLRB decides cases.
This news of charges against the union came after UAW representatives recently said that they had gathered cards in support of UAW representation from at least 51 percent of the local VW employees.
That announcement came after nearly three years of relatively quiet work.
"It just shows you what three years of soft pressure can do," Chattanooga attorney Maury Nicely, who specializes in labor and employment, said soon after the UAW announcement about the card check. "They never staged big press conferences. They quietly worked with a company that's willing to be neutral. If you think that just staying quiet and neutral will make the union get tired and go away—it won't."
But the assertion that the UAW had enough cards to—at least theoretically—win an election, if there were one, prompted pushback from some VW employees, local business leaders and government officials.
Some Volkswagen employees set up a No2UAW website, which has been updated with an open letter to Volkswagen team members.
Click here to read the letter.
The VW employees who are behind the website said they created it to inform and educate other team members.
The letter, which is signed by "The Informed Team Members at Volkswagen's Passat Plant," is a call to action. It says that team members are collecting signatures on a petition to show that the majority of workers don't want the UAW at the local plant.
In the letter, workers identify the week of Sept. 30 to Oct. 4 as "Petition Week."
The workers behind the website will have a table set up outside the plant, where other employees can come to sign the petition, according to the letter.
The letter also outlines things some of the VW employees like about their jobs, including pay, benefits and hours.
Soon after UAW leaders said they had a majority of cards, some people called for a secret ballot election. But UAW President Bob King said that would be divisive.
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