Lawmakers Intimidate VW Workers.
It's illegal for an employer to intimidate workers trying to form a union, but apparently it's just fine when a lawmaker does it. On Friday, workers at a Volkswagen Plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee voted against joining the United Auto Workers union. However, that vote may have turned out differently if workers weren't pressured by Republican Governor Bill Haslam and Senator Bob Corker.
In the days leading up to that vote, Governor Haslam warned that he would take away Volkswagen's state tax incentives if workers unionized, and Senator Corker claimed that a “no” vote would lead to the production of a new SUV at that plant. Volkswagen flatly denied Corker's claim, and expressed their support for the workers, but that wasn't enough to relieve the fear created by these powerful Republicans.
The UAW issued a statement saying, “We're outraged by politicians and outside special interest groups interfering with the basic legal right of workers to form a union.” And, they may ask the National Labor Relations Board to overturn Friday's vote. For decades, we've seen corporations fight to block workers from organizing, but these extreme anti-worker tactics are a new low for politicians.
Hopefully, the NLRB will overturn this vote, and give workers a chance to make their decision without intense pressure and lies from those in public office. Either way, it's clear who Governor Haslam and Senator Corker really work for, and every voter should remember that during the next election.