Jonathan Browning

If the Union expect them to go on strike in March


A Tennessee Volkswagen manufacturing plant will hold a historic secret ballot election later this month to determine whether workers in the right-to-work state will join the Detroit-based United Auto Workers (UAW) union.

Workers will begin voting in a secret ballot election beginning on Feb. 12. Labor watchdog groups celebrated the decision to hold a traditional organizing vote, rather than the card check campaign that the UAW attempted to invoke in late 2013.

“These workers have just been asking for a fair process and I think that the secret ballot gives this process a little more legitimacy,” National Right to Work Foundation spokesman Anthony Riedel said.

VW, a German company, approached the Tennessee manufacturing plant in September, hinting that the company may withhold additional investments if it did not establish a European-model works council to represent employee interests.

UAW organizers, who had worked for years to organize Tennessee plants using traditional union tactics, launched a campaign to become the official works council representative for the worker. Within two weeks local UAW officials said that the union attained majority support from the Chattanooga plant’s 2,500 workers using a card check campaign.

However, those claims came under intense scrutiny from lawyers representing employees opposed to the union and prompted complaints to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

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