Lake Erie Conservative

thoughtful discussion(s) about issue(s)

Posts Tagged ‘Volkswagen’

… the U.A.W. does not Deserve a Do – Over …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Sunday,March 16th,2014

.. I am referring to  the  representation election that was hel recently at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga , Tn   in  Februaruy . The U.A.W. lost the election by almost  8 % , and is  having  a  . As  a result ,  they want a do  –  over and that a new election should be held ….

.. They do not deserve one  . Here is why  …

..  I took three labour  law classes , one as an upperclassmen undergraduate , and two of them in graduate school while studying for my M.B.A. . It  gave me quite  an education in what is supposed tppen in a labour case and a labour law election . In plain english , there should be  as close to ” laboratory ” conditions as is possible . That is between the parties  , namely the union seeking representation and the company . It does not affect the workers themselves . They are free to take actions on their own , if they like .

.. If they want a union , then  they can ask for one . They can sign representation cards , usually triggering recognition if their are enough of them . In the  Tennessee case , there  were  serious questions over the conduct of the  union in obtaining the signatures . Instadead of allowing card – check  recognition , as was the originial plan , the N.L.R.B. ordered an election . Oops …

.. if there was misconduct , it was on the case of the union . Outside parties (i.e. , interest groups) are not prohibited from participating in the election . They got invovled , and unless they directly interfered with one side or the other , they are free to do what they want . The company (Volkswagen) even remained neutral , and let the union in the plant in order to campaign …

.. there is no  case for a new election …. None ! …

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… A Job Well Done [Non Union Auto Workers] …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Tuesday,February 18th,2014

.. these folks work for Wolkwagen , down yonder in Tennessee .

.. this operation is non – union . Tennessee is a right – to – work state . There are now 25 right – to – work states , including now states in the Midwest (Michigan and Indiana) and the Northeast (New Hampshire) . That has to drive Big Labour crazy .

.. The U.A.W. really worked hard on this one . They really wanted the victory , to finally organize one of these non – union auto operations . In this situation , an added push was put in by IG Metall (Germany) , the union that Volks has to deal with back home . Metall is a labour federation , but it is also a labour union (in autos) . They wanted this one , too .

.. Metall did not like Volkswagen having a non – union operation anywhere , but , especially in the United States . So , I.G. Metall put pressure on Volks , and Volks (which was a big no – no under U.S. labour law) put pressure on and tried to bribe the workers . They wanted the workers to have what is known in Germany as a ” works council , ” so that the workers would have a say in how the business is run . In the U.S. in a non – union operation , that is a no – go . The only way to have a works council is for the operation to unionize . Which has not happened at any non – union operation in the South , or in a right – to – work state .

.. it was not a blowout by any means . It was about 725 votes to about 620 votes , but it was decisive . Especially so , considering the impermissable pressure coming from IG Metall and Volkswagen . Someone should remind them the next time about U.S. labour law , and what is allowed , and what is not . IG Metall ‘ s pressure is kosher . The company ‘ s [Volkswagen ‘ s] is not kosher .

.. [h/t–theRightScoop]..

.. [link]..

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… Volkswagen blundered on this one [.. trying to aid the UAW ..] …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Tuesday,October 22nd,2013

.. European companies frequently have what are known as “vworks councils . ” It gives unions an even more active voice than they do here in the United States .

.. Contrary to U.S. labor law , which is inherently an adversarial labour – management relationship , the European system fosters a somewhat more collaborative and collegial working relationship . Inherent in the European system , especially in Germany , they have a more activist role in the management of the company …

.. It does not mean that the unions run a German company or a European company , though . It does mean that most day-to-day , and virtually all major decisions cannot be done without strong consultation with the unions , through the ” works council . ”

.. The structure of U.S. labour law does not allow for that . That type of tight labour – management collaboration would be illegal under either the Wagner Act (the National Labor Relations Act) of 1935 , or of the Taft – Hartley Act of 1947 .

… from the Washington Free Beacon
BY: Bill McMorris Follow @FBillMcMorris
October 16, 2013 4:40 pm

Tennessee autoworkers have filed a second set of complaints alleging that Volkswagen’s corporate headquarters pressured employees to join the United Auto Workers Union.

Four autoworkers filed a complaint to the National Labor Relations Board alleging that members of the German-based company’s board of directors threatened to end plant expansion in the right-to-work state if employees did not join a European-style works council.

The support that corporate leaders are lending to the UAW amounts to coercion, according to the complaint filed by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTW).

“Bernd Osterloh, vice-chairman of VW and head of VW’s global works council, who makes production decisions for VW, said publicly that employees in Chattanooga must form a works council and bring in the UAW as their agent if their plant is going to be given the opportunity to produce additional products for VW,” the complaint states.

“Volkswagen AG through their officers, directors, and/or agents are thus interfering with Chattanooga facility employees’ rights to choose whether or not to engage in self-organization to form, join, or assist labor organizations.”

VW has been urging the Tennessee plant to form a works council, a collaborative labor group that gives workers a direct line of communication to management regarding work conditions. These councils do not typically involve labor unions, which are more adversarial.

UAW officials hijacked the process in September by convincing workers to sign cards that went beyond the formation of works council. UAW regional director Gary Casteel said on Sept. 12 that a majority of 2,500 workers at VW’s Chattanooga, Tenn., plant signed cards endorsing full union organization.

Osterloh is also a member of IG Metall, a German engineering union with close ties to the UAW, in addition to his position as a VW executive. IG Metall pressured VW’s board to form a works council at the start of 2013 and in March lent its support for UAW’s organizing attempts.

NRTW president Mark Mix said that corporate pressure is a two-way street. If companies are not allowed to use tactics like threats to campaign against a union, they should not be able to do so in support of labor groups.

“With reports that Volkswagen is considering Chattanooga to build its new SUV, this is no idle threat,” said Mix.

“If VW management was discouraging workers from joining the UAW with threats, there’s little question that an NLRB prosecution would have already begun at the UAW’s behest.”

One auto expert found VW’s sudden push for unionization suspicious. The company has been expanding operations in countries that offer far more hazardous work conditions and far less worker protections than American plants—without ever calling for the formation of a works council.

“Volkswagen’s expansion plans are focused on China, India, and Russia, three countries where its plants do not operate under works councils,” the source said. “That indicates to me that if Chattanooga unionizes it would be unlikely to benefit from future product expansion. So the real loser here wouldn’t be Volkswagen, so much as American workers.”

VW did not respond to requests for comment.

The four autoworkers are also participating in a separate NLRB complaint against the UAW for using misleading and potentially illegal organizing tactics to gain access to the plant.

.. LEC here — this presumes that one would get a fair hearing at the  N.L.R.B. . At the ObamaCrap NLRB , that is highly in question . It may take taking this legal fight up into the United States Federal Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit for the ObamaCraps and the NLRB to get the message . Also , for Volkswagen and other European companies .

.. you cannot use your structure or the use of “works councils” to coerce U.S. workers at U.S.-based companies , especially where they presently do not have unions . U.S. law allows them the right to choose , but , also , the right to have unions of their free choice , and the right not to be coerced in their choice .

.. this type and other types of coercion are under attack in the United States . They are of at best questionable and more likely dubious legality . If you give one a fair hearing , and a fair judgement under U.S. labor law , that kind of coercion , or any kind of mutual cooperation between unions and companies is a very big no – no .

.. In recent decades , unions that are seeking to organize companies seek to reach legal agreements in advance of any organizing campaign . The company knows that , if they do not , what is known in the trade as a “corporate campaign” could very well result against the company . The company can and usually does end up remaining non – union , but the cost to the company in expense and lost man – and woman – hours is usually considerable . Many do not always seek to want to continue this kind of fight .

.. What the union seeking to organize does is reach a neutrality agreement with the targeted employer . They thus gain access to the grounds of the employer ‘ s facility , without usually comes with the ususally expensive brawl between the target company and their own employees . The union then has a chance to gain communication with the employees , seeking their legal consent , in the form of a “consent card” that , with a sufficient number , allows the union to become the exclusive bargaining agent for that company , or , potentially , for that industry .

.. What those geniuses do not realize is that they have used what is , in effect , blackmail , as well as coercion , against the employer . The Wagner Act does not prohibit this , but the Taft – Hartley Act does , also creating several new protections for both employees , as well as employers .

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