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UAW's Challenge To Republican Political Interference Is About More than VW Vote

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message John Nichols       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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Source: The Nation


If a United States senator claims that a key manufacturing facility in his home state would lose a new product line if workers were to vote for a union, might the workers be less inclined to vote for the union?
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If legislative leaders in that state threaten to withhold tax incentives for future expansion of the manufacturing facility if a pro-union vote was recorded, might that influence the election?

It would be absurd to try to deny the influence that top elected officials, with powerful connections and control of treasuries and tax policies, could have were they to intervene in this way.

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It would be equally absurd for the union to simply walk away from such a blatant assault on not just the rights of workers but the rule of law.

The United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, with its almost 80-year history of fighting not just for labor rights but for civil rights and civil liberties in the United States and around the world, is not inclined toward absurdity. So UAW President Bob King announced Friday that the union has asked the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to investigate the extraordinary level of interference by politicians and outside special interest groups in the mid-February representation election at Volkswagen's state-of-the-art plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

"It's an outrage that politically motivated third parties threatened the economic future of this facility and the opportunity for workers to create a successful operating model that would grow jobs in Tennessee," says UAW president Bob King. "It is extraordinary interference in the private decision of workers to have a U.S. senator, a governor and leaders of the state legislature threaten the company with the denial of economic incentives and workers with a loss of product."

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

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