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The entrance sign for the Chattanooga Volkswagen assembly plant, located in the Enterprise South industrial park, is photographed on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The American Council of Employees today criticized the United Auto Worker's legal battle relating to Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant.

ACE, an anti-UAW labor group at the plant, said the UAW is lobbying the National Labor Relations Board to limit deliberations within the ongoing labor case concerning the union's election in December and requesting that the board render a ruling in an unusually short time frame.

ACE President David Reed said that "we all knew that the local impact of the Volkswagen diesel [emissions] issue would be made worse by the UAW's ill-timed election and dispute with the company, but it's really upsetting to see them so blatantly attempt to exploit this crisis as part of their strategy to gain leverage."

Reed said that VW's Chattanooga workers "deserve more than to be treated like bargaining chips in the UAW's national organizing strategy."

The UAW won an organizing election at the Chattanooga plant among a small group of maintenance workers early last December. VW later appealed to the NLRB, saying the unit was too small. VW said it wanted all the plant's blue-collar workers to vote in the election.

The UAW then charged that VW has refused to bargain with the union group at the plant.

See more in Thursday's Times Free Press.

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