This story was updated at 5:23 p.m. with a quote from the UAW.

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Mike Cantrell

The National Right to Work Foundation said today that the United Auto Workers call for an election at Chattanooga's Volkswagen plant is a "push to impose monopoly unionization on workers."

Mark Mix, the foundation's president, in a statement criticized the two weeks between the time UAW Local 42 requested an election and the planned vote.

"With the National Labor Relations Board's new ambush election rules now in effect, events are expected to move rapidly, with an election possible in less than two weeks, which unfortunately may not be enough time for some VW team members to fully debate and discuss everything that is at stake," Mix said.

But, Mike Cantrell, president of UAW Local 42, termed to the foundation's statement "the same kind of Washington-style scare tactics that we saw nearly two years ago when out-of-state interests tainted our local election."

"To be clear: The only employees who would pay dues to Local 42 are those who choose to join the local union. Furthermore, no dues would take effect until our members reach an employment contract with the company. Finally, no dues will fund political activities. Period. Looking ahead, we hope this national group will stay out of our employee business in Chattanooga and stop spreading misinformation," said Cantrell.

Mix said the NLRB's rushed election process is particularly unfortunate in Chattanooga, because if union bosses are successful in this vote, it will be the first step towards their stated goal of gaining exclusive, monopoly power over the entire workforce.

"Moreover, if the UAW becomes the monopoly bargaining representative, workers it 'represents' may be forced to pay full union dues to vote on union officers or ratification of the contract. This includes the portion of dues that covers union political activities, often for controversial causes and candidates," Mix said.

Last Friday, the UAW requested an election by the 164 maintenance, or skilled, workers at the plant on Nov. 5 and 6.

See more in Wednesday's Times Free Press.