The United Auto Workers union (UAW) ended its appeal to overturn a February union election on Monday morning, just before a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) hearing on the issue was scheduled to begin.
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The union suffered a decisive defeat in its effort to unionize a Chattanooga, Tenn., Volkswagen plant, despite cooperation from the company. UAW officials immediately challenged the 712-626 vote against unionization, claiming that the results were tainted by anti-union politicians and outside groups that gathered support from local workers.
“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,” UAW president Bob King said in a statement. “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.”
While the union has contended that it was treated unfairly by outside groups, it enjoyed considerable support from VW itself. VW allowed union organizers to set up shop on factory grounds and organizers were granted access to the plant in the weeks leading up to the election. A VW board member also threatened to withdraw funding from the Tennessee plant unless it formed a European-style Works Council under the leadership of the UAW.