The U.S. Department of Justice says in a legal brief that neither Volkswagen nor the United Auto Workers violated federal law in their election agreement prior to the February vote at the automaker's Chattanooga plant.
The DOJ, joined by attorneys for the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board, said labor law doesn't prohibit terms of the election agreement. They also said that the three VW employees who filed the federal suit should have brought unfair labor practices charges with the NLRB.
The employees allege in the suit that VW gave the union access to names and facilities at the Chattanooga plant in exchange for the UAW holding down costs if it won the organizing vote at the factory. The UAW lost by a 53 percent to 47 percent margin.
Patrick Semmens, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation, termed it "extremely unusual" for the Obama Administration to file a legal brief at the district court level.
The Foundation, which is representing the workers, said that "the very union bosses who complained about outside interference after they lost the unionization election are now relying on outside interference from their Washington, D.C., allies to justify UAW bosses' ability to negotiate a backroom deal for assistance in organizing workers who already rejected them once in a secret ballot election."
See more in Friday's Times Free Press.