The Union That Cried Foul: Union Claims Interference in Organizing Campaign

Posted by Tucker Nelson on Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 at 1:11 pm - Permalink


Whining about interference with union organization seems to be the trend with the United Auto Workers (UAW). When outcomes don’t go in your favor, blame the other party, claim “interference.”

That is exactly what the UAW is doing in Alabama. April 7th, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) heard charges from the union that“…..Mercedes-Benz interfered with the United Auto Workers' effort to organize a union at the automaker's Tuscaloosa County factory," reports

Vance, Alabama (in Tuscaloosa County) is home to a Mercedes plant with thousands of employees, and has been a target of the UAW since 1997 when it opened. The Mercedes plant is unique. It currently assembles three models of Mercedes, with a fourth set to launch sometime this year, making it an irresistible opportunity for the union.

Three separate charges of unfair labor practices were filed with the NLRB against Mercedes, over the past year. One of the cases was dropped and the other two “have been consolidated into one case that is proceeding to the April 7 hearing, said Claude T. Chip" Harrell Jr., regional director for the NLRB office in Atlanta."

The complaint before the NLRB alleges that “…plant supervisors prohibited employees from talking about the union during work time, but they allowed discussion of other non-work subjects.” Employees who filed the suit are also claiming that supervisors threatened them, with discipline including termination, if they lobbied for the union inside the plant.

Mercedes denied the charges in a statement claiming that:

We at MBUSI believe that our actions have been entirely appropriate, lawful and consistent with our position of neutrality on the union issue. MBUSI will continue to respect the rights of our team members and we believe that our positive team culture of open communication and direct access to management is the best path to a successful future.

This isn’t the first time these “interference” allegations have been made by the union. In Chattanooga, the union is also claiming interference in its failed effort to unionize the Volkswagen plant. In this case the union believes that “outside interest groups” and elected officials interfered in “…balloting by threatening to withhold state incentives if the plant was unionized and by suggesting that a plant expansion was more likely if workers rejected the union."

They may be crying foul all over America if the NLRB sides with the union on these so-called “interference” allegations. It’s a poor sportsman who loses the game and then asks the umpire to call it in their favor anyway.

With an umpire like Obama’s NLRB this may be an attainable goal for the union.