The UAW’s Election Loss at Chattanooga VW Plant Will Not End the… — Volkswagen Apollo

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The UAW’s Election at Chattanooga VW Plant Will Not End the Auto Organizing Drive

on April 11, 2014 by paulgarver

by Garver

Attributing its narrow at the Chattanooga VW plant to outrageous interference by anti-union special groups and right-wing politicians, on February the UAW formally filed to the election with the NLRB. is new legal terrain, since the misconduct stemmed not as customary management but from misleading and statements by right-wing politicians and anti-union organizations.

The success of the novel legal appeal is far certain, despite its evident It is also uncertain, even if a new is granted, whether the union prevail in an unchanged hostile political environment and continuing to the union by some workers. a new combination of political mobilization in the and renewed organizing efforts by workers and their families can

I went away from a with renewed hope at the Labor Notes conference in addressed by Volkswagon workers  and by Brooks, of Chattanooga Organized for The workers and Chris explained passion and clear analytical how the union came close to only to be blindsided by a massive campaign fueled by hundreds of of dollars from shadowy special interests.

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Although Volkswagon as a corporate largely  respected the neutrality it had made with the UAW pressure from its Works the pro-union workers and the UAW were by surprise by this unprecedented interference.  Union organizers learned by harsh experience the all too often successful objective of minute massive anti-union is not to persuade the workers, but to paralyze wills by sowing confusion and A significant number of workers who signed union cards their courage to vote for and vote NO in the hope that the noise and turmoil will just go Normally the source of this is company management itself and its hired and so it was not naive for the UAW to believe that it win an honest vote if the company neutral.

With perfect 20-20 it is logical to argue that the should have mobilized its supporters and used house and other methods to win deeper from workers and their in order to resist an anti-union However who could have that, even as VW itself neutral, other more forces would openly take up the against the union, leading to its defeat?

The active worker represented on their plant Council were stunned and by their unexpected loss.  But have learned the lessons for the Whether or not the NLRB challenge the union’s defeat (and appears to be no legal precedent), in a new the pro-union will have to confront the likelihood of another external onslaught.  This that there will to be much deeper support the workers and much more mobilization outside the  itself.  Just as it took a decade of up and down struggle for the to organize the giant Smithfield pig plant in Tar Heel, North it may take decades for the union to the Chattanooga VW plant.  But if the courage and of the UAW activists and Chris Brooks persevere and to typify the struggle, and provided the UAW continues to provide sufficient they will ultimately

While an electoral victory at the VW plant would have encouraged the prospects of union at the Vance, Alabama, Mercedes and the Nissan plant in Canton, the UAW is continuing its drive to organize assembly and auto parts in the South.  The union is currently in the of an NLRB hearing charging Mercedes management in Alabama is not abiding by the agreement reached between parent Daimler-Benz and the UAW, brokered by its Works Council. Members of the auto workers union from the Daimler Works have visited Alabama to and support the workers.   The UAW has managed to win representation rights at two Alabama parts plants that the Mercedes plant in Vance, the union recently lost a

election.  The German union and the global union federation for the auto sector, IndustriALL been providing invaluable for the UAW’s Southern organizing

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