THE VOLKSWAGEN VOTE

Corker: Don't let the UAW silence public officials

Corker: Public officials have the right to make statements taking sides in a union election. Photo credit: BLOOMBERG
UPDATED: 3/4/14 4:42 pm ET - adds UAW statement

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., today accused the UAW of trying to silence public officials as part of the union's appeal of a failed organizing vote at Volkswagen AG's Tennessee assembly plant last month.

Corker, in an op-ed published by The Wall Street Journal today, described the UAW's challenge of the vote as a threat to free speech.

The UAW is asking the National Labor Relations Board to review the vote, which it lost 712-626. Union officials contend Corker and other public officials in Tennessee interfered with the vote outcome by suggesting publicly that VW would forgo a planned investment at the factory if the union won the right to represent some 1,500 workers.

"In every similar case where a company has remained neutral in a union-election drive, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have voiced their opinions," Corker said in the op-ed. "The NLRB has ruled repeatedly that public officials have the right to make statements taking sides in a union election, and that those statements do not justify overturning the outcome of that election."

A UAW spokeswoman said Tuesday the union was "focused on the NLRB investigation of Corker’s conduct" and would have no further comment.

25

Shares

ATTENTION COMMENTERS: Over the last few months, Automotive News has monitored a significant increase in the number of personal attacks and abusive comments on our site. We encourage our readers to voice their opinions and argue their points. We expect disagreement. We do not expect our readers to turn on each other. We will be aggressively deleting all comments that personally attack another poster, or an article author, even if the comment is otherwise a well-argued observation. If we see repeated behavior, we will ban the commenter. Please help us maintain a civil level of discourse.

Newsletters