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UAW files appeal with NLRB on Tennessee VW plant vote

Feb. 21, 2014 at 6:59 PM

DETROIT, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- The United Auto Workers has filed an appeal alleging comments by political figures interfered unfairly in a union election at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee.

In a statement posted on its website, the UAW said it filed objections with the National Labor Relations Board, due to what it called "a firestorm of interference from politicians and special interest groups threatening the economic future" of Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant, prior to last week's union representation vote.

Workers at the plant voted 712-626 against joining the UAW.

The objections filed with the NLRB "detail a coordinated and widely publicized coercive campaign conducted by politicians and outside organizations to deprive Volkswagen workers of their federally protected right to join a union."

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., had said during the run-up to the election if the Chattanooga workers vote against the union, "Volkswagen will announce in the coming weeks that it will manufacture its new mid-size SUV here in Chattanooga."

"Senator Corker's conduct was shameful and undertaken with utter disregard for the rights of the citizens of Tennessee and surrounding states that work at Volkswagen," the UAW objections state.

"The workers at Chattanooga's Volkswagen plant spoke very clearly last week, so we are disappointed the UAW is ignoring their decision and has filed this objection," Corker said in a statement Friday.

A Volkswagen spokesman in Chattanooga had no comment on the filing, the Detroit Free Press reported.

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