by F. Vincent Vernuccio
Mackinac Center for Public Policy
April 29, 2014
A week after Volkswagen autoworkers in Chattanooga, Tenn., declined to join the Detroit union by a vote of 712 to 626, the United Auto Workers union appealed the election to the National Labor Relations Board. The UAW claimed that “interference by politicians,” including Sen. Bob Corker, R-TN, “and outside special interest groups” skewed the vote. Yet, federal labor law already strictly curtails what an employer can say to their employees when a union is trying to organize their business while unions only violate the law if they verbally threaten or physically assault a worker. The UAW originally wanted to organize the Chattanooga plant via a card check election, which deny workers the protection of a secret ballot. If the National Labor Relations Board decides to redo the election it will not just be a blow against worker self-determination, but also against free speech.