Democrats want third parties to stay out of UAW vote

Democrats want third parties to stay out of UAW vote

February 9th, 2014 by Dave Flessner in Local - Breaking News

JoAnne Favors

Photo by Angela Lewis/Times Free Press.

Two Tennessee Democratic legislators will call Monday for outside interests to not interfere with this week's election by Volkswagen employees about whether or not they want to be represented by the United Auto Workers.

State Reps., JoAnne Favors, D-Chattanooga, and Sherry Jones, D-Nashville, have called a press conference Monday to demand an end what they call interference from outside special interest groups in the union representation election.

"We value the economic impact that Volkswagen has had on Chattanooga," Rep. Favors said in a statement released Sunday night. "Volkswagen and the UAW agreed to an election process that gives workers the rare opportunity to express their desire and make a decision on union representation in an environment that is free from intimidation and coercion. Volkswagen has asked third parties to remain neutral and leave the decision to the workers and we're calling on them to respect that request."

More than 1,500 hourly workers at VW will vote Wednesday through Friday in a union certification election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board.

VW has allowed UAW representatives to talk in the plant to employees about the union, but anti-UAW groups and employees have complained that they have not had the same chance to make public presentations within the plant.

A number of business groups have mounted campaigns to convince workers not to vote for the UAW, including the National Right to Work Foundation, the Beacon Group, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Southern Momentum, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Center for Worker Freedom, an offshoot of Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Freedom.

The news conference by Rep. Favors and Rep Jones Monday morning in support of the UAW comes at the same time that two leading Republicans in the Tennessee General Assembly - House Majority Leader Gerald Mccormick and state Sen. Bo Watson - have called a press conference in which they are expected to urge workers to vote against the UAW at Volkswagen.