Patterson: UAW against democracy, free speech

The United Auto Workers (UAW) lost its bid to organize Volkswagen's Chattanooga auto factory on Feb. 14.

The VW employees voted 712-626 against UAW representation in what can only be described as one of the most epic failures in the history of organized labor.

The financial and political fallout of the loss has received much commentary. But the union's post-election actions have been, if anything, just as consequential: The UAW has filed an objection with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), claiming the election had been tainted by statements from Tennessee politicians during election week.

In particular, the union singled out statements made by U.S. Senator Bob Corker and State Senator Bo Watson: The former made clear that he had been told (by whom he did not say) that the VW facility would receive another production line if the workers rejected the union; the latter spoke for many local politicians when he said that the state would re-evaluate future tax incentives for VW should the union prevail.