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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

AFL-CIO statement on Volkswagen vote doesn't mention that labor didn't want it -- By Sean Higgins, The Washington Examiner

Photo - Workers walk by the Volkswagen AG plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., in March 2012. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig, file)Leaders of the AFL-CIO issued a statement Wednesday denouncing Tennessee Republicans for their "unconscionable abuse of power" in opposing the United Auto Workers' recent bid to organize a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga. They called the lawmakers' efforts "an attack on ... workers exercising their rights" -- without ever mentioning that UAW had actually opposed allowing the workers to have a vote in the first place.

The statement was issued by the AFL-CIO's executive council, which is currently meeting in Houston. It also denounced conservative activist "Grover Norquist, the Koch brothers and others, whose identify we have yet to learn."

On Friday, the Chattanooga plant workers rejected the UAW's bid to represent them in a 712-626 vote. Of the 1,550 eligible workers, 89 percent cast a ballot. It was a surprising defeat for the union since it had the foreign manufacturer's tacit backing.

Under pressure from its German union, IG Metall, VW had allowed labor organizers into the Chattanooga factory to lobby workers prior to the vote, all the while barring anti-union groups. Management had previously indicated it would even welcome the union, which could result in expanding production at the facility because it would allow for the creation of a European-style "workers council."

The AFL-CIO praised the company Wednesday, saying it "respected the right of employees to make their own choice about union representation."

The one thing Volkswagen did not do for UAW was to skip a worker election completely. Union leaders had called for exactly that, saying that allowing the employees to confirm that they wanted collective bargaining wasn't necessary.

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