(WRCB-Chattanooga) The United Auto Workers announced Monday that the union is withdrawing their objections filed with the National Labor Relations Board in February's vote at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga.
Volkswagen workers rejected representation by the United Auto Workers by a 712 - 626 vote in February.
Monday's action by the UAW effectively terminates the NLRB review process; a hearing was scheduled for 9:00am Wednesday morning at the Hamilton County Courthouse.
The UAW says it will instead focus on a congressional investigation into an anti-unionization campaign by Republican politicians and outside groups.
UAW President Bob King said in a news release that the decision was made in the best interests of Volkswagen employees, the automaker, and economic development in Chattanooga. King said the UAW based its decision on the belief that the NLRB's historically dysfunctional and complex process potentially could drag on for months or even years.
The UAW cited refusals by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and U.S. Sen. Bob Corker to appear at the hearing as well.
"The unprecedented political interference by Gov. Haslam, Sen. Corker and others was a distraction for Volkswagen employees and a detour from achieving Tennessee's economic priorities," King said. "The UAW is ready to put February's tainted election in the rearview mirror and instead focus on advocating for new jobs and economic investment in Chattanooga."
King said the UAW has accomplished a major goal with its election objections.
"The UAW's objections informed the public about the unprecedented interference by anti-labor politicians and third parties who want to prevent workers from exercising their democratic right to choose union representation," he said. King also said that outdated federal laws governing the NLRB never contemplated the level of extreme intimidation and interference that occurred in Chattanooga. Even if the NLRB ordered a new election — the board's only available remedy under current law — nothing would stop politicians and anti-union organizations from again interfering.
Documents also show Tennessee tied a $300 million incentive package to the satisfactory outcome of the labor situation at the plant.