Attorneys ask for court to stop UAW-VW neutrality agreement

Authored By chloe.morrison

Last week, staff attorneys with National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation-who have been offering assistance to Volkswagen employees who oppose the United Auto Workers Union-filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the neutrality agreement between Volkswagen and UAW is illegal. 

Now, they have filed a motion asking the court for a preliminary injunction to stop the UAW and VW from enforcing that agreement during litigation. 

Click here to see the article about the original lawsuit. 

“If granted, the preliminary injunction would prevent Volkswagen from providing valuable organizing assistance to the UAW in the event of a rerun election,” Patrick Semmens, vice president for public information with the foundation, said. 

Last month, Volkswagen employees voted in a secret ballot election against UAW representation with a 712-626 vote.

But then, UAW leaders appealed that decision, citing interference from politicians, such as Gov. Bill Haslam, Sen. Bob Corker and Senate Speaker Pro Tem Bo Watson. So UAW leaders want another election. 

In response to that move, two different groups of Volkswagen employees who don’t want another election asked to be included in the appeal process. The NLRB granted that request, but UAW officials said Wednesday that’s an outrage, and they are questioning the tactics and funding of the groups working against the UAW. 

Last week came the federal lawsuit, which UAW officials said is “baseless.”

UAW President Bob King issued this statement about the original lawsuit:

At the time it negotiated its election agreement with Volkswagen Group of America, the UAW had already established for the company that it was the majority representative of hourly Volkswagen employees, on the lawful basis of authorization cards signed by a majority of such employees. Moreover, even if the UAW had not demonstrated this status, the UAW’s election agreement with Volkswagen Group of America would still be lawful, just like many other neutrality agreements the UAW and other unions have negotiated with employers throughout the United States.

Semmens said that the Volkswagen employees who don’t want the vote overturned-as the UAW has requested-will get a more fair shot with the next election if the preliminary injunction is granted. 

During the first election, there was controversy because anti-union employees said they didn’t get the same opportunities as the UAW did during the campaigning process leading up to the first election. 

“Obviously, the Volkswagen employees who filed this case hope first and foremost that their vote is not overturned as requested by UAW officials. But in the event that the NLRB does throw out the results of the vote, a preliminary injunction would help ensure a more level playing field during a rerun,” Semmens said. 

Below are the documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.