WSJ: UAW’s Neutrality Agreement At VW May Be Unlawful

UAW IG Metall - al

In a long article covering many of the issues surrounding the UAW’s attempt to unionize Volkswagen’s employees in Chattanooga, Tenn. the Wall Street Journal lays out the case that, in addition to the UAW’s collusion with the German union IG Metall, the UAW’s “neutrality agreement” with Volkswagen may be eventually be found to be illegal:

So IG Metall is colluding with the UAW to reduce competition. The unions have spread brochures espousing the putative benefits of Germany’s works councils and sponsored tours of German plants. A billboard outside one Daimler factory in Germany carries the UAW and IG Metall logos.

Meantime, Volkswagen denied workers who oppose unionization a list of employees and their home addresses as well as plant access that it gave the UAW. Members of an anti-UAW group say they’ve been forbidden from wearing anti-UAW logos on their shirts while UAW blackshirts roam the plant all day.

Volkswagen’s un-neutral “neutrality agreement” with the UAW is arguably a violation of Taft-Hartley’s prohibition on employers giving a “thing of value” to a union seeking to organize its employees. The Supreme Court last year dismissed as improvidently granted Mulhall v. Unite Here Local 355, which challenged the legality of such business-labor collusion. The Chattanooga campaign could provide the judiciary an opportunity to revisit the issue. [Emphasis added.], a website run by VW employees opposed to the UAW, has posted the UAW’s Neutrality Agreement here.

If the UAW’s neutrality agreement is challenged, it could take years before the issue ends up at the Supreme Court, leaving Volkwagen’s employees in legal limbo as they a decision from Germany over the expansion of their plant.

If that happens, as the Wall Street Journal notes, “Volkswagen executives will have only themselves to blame.”


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