Policy: Labor

UAW imports anti-worker thuggery to Tennessee

Opinion,Matt Patterson,Op-Eds,Labor unions,Labor,Tennessee,Germany,Volkswagen,UAW

Workers at the Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga, Tenn., have been on the receiving end of an aggressive United Auto Workers organizing drive. And it's getting help from company officials with ties to a powerful German union.

Late Friday, the Center for Worker Freedom reported that some Chattanooga VW employees were alarmed that representatives from the Volkswagen Works Council had been granted permission to meet with workers on company property to spread pro-union propaganda.

These concerned workers delivered a letter to upper management requesting equal access to company facilities to discuss alternatives to UAW representation.

They also requested access to the same employee contact list the union will have in the event of an election, so that the workers could hear both sides.

Both requests were denied. The workers were told that they could not have access to those facilities — which were paid for in part by tax dollars — and contacts because they are not an “entity.”

It’s convenient, but not surprising: CWF has learned that one member of upper management at the Chattanooga plant, vice president of human resources Sebastian Patta, is brother to Volkswagen Works Council general secretary Frank Patta.

This is the same Works Council that is controlled by the German IG Metall union and that has been flooding Chattanooga workers with pro-union pablum.

(It is interesting to note that the only officials for Volkswagen — both in America and Germany — who have spoken out in favor of the UAW in Chattanooga are officials with current or former ties to IG Metall.)

Supervisors at the Chattanooga plant who oppose the UAW shouldn't be blamed for fearing for their jobs as a result of speaking out against the union.

The CWF hopes every reporter covering this story will contact the general manager of human resources at Volkswagen Group of America, Ryan Rose, and ask him if there is an explicit or implicit gag order on speech opposing the union.

The most reasonable explanation for what is going on in Chattanooga is that the UAW is conspiring with IG Metall and VW senior officials with union ties to move the UAW into the plant as quickly as possible, even if that is done at the expense of free speech, decency, and fairness.

And Tennessee tax dollars may well end up paying for office space in the plant for the UAW, the “entity” that had a major role in bankrupting General Motors and that funds left-wing politicians across America.

Nor is the union content merely to let government and company officials silence opposing voices; they are perfectly willing to do it themselves the old-fashioned way.

Friday night, as some anti-union workers were handing out pamphlets, union organizers sent texts to their supporters ordering them to intercept and seize the material.

The first text read:

“Plz gather "ALL COPIES" of info @ gate today.”

The second clarified where the order had originated:

“The last msg was sent and approved by UAW. No one else”

Sure enough, union hacks attempted to confiscate and destroy the pamphlets, but fled when exposed.

Back-room deals, intimidation, deceit in pursuit of power. This is the UAW way, the Detroit way, and it’s coming to Chattanooga.

Matt Patterson is Executive Director, Center for Worker Freedom at Americans for Tax Reform. Thinking of submitting an op-ed to the Washington Examiner? Be sure to read our guidelines on submissions for editorials, available at this link.
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