Apr 24, 2014
CWA stands with the UAW as the union drops its objections to the NLRB representation election at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Now the focus will shift to the congressional investigation into the third party anti-union campaign by elected officials, Grover Norquist and other outside groups. Reps. George Miller (D-CA) and John Tierney (D-MA), the ranking Democrats on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions subcommittee, are investigating the interference and the shortcomings of our outdated federal labor laws.
In our increasingly globalized world, large foreign multinational corporations are investing in facilities in the U.S. Some, like Volkswagen, have been greeted by hostile outside campaigns to undermine workers' right to collective bargaining, usually with cooperation by U.S. management. In many cases U.S. management embraces anti-union tactics they shun at home, where unions often have recognition and respect. This case was unique in that VW management in Germany, and at least officially in the U.S., adopted extensive neutrality provisions which only inflamed outside agitators like Norquist even more. In a similar case, CWA and the large German services union ver.di have been supporting T-Mobile employees' struggle to organize for more than 10 years. Unfortunately the principal owner Deutsche Telekom and U.S. management are anything but neutral.
For all of us the issue remains: What are the rights of employees in a global economy? Will the U.S. continue to operate at the low end on workers' rights, accepting the fantasy land of Tennessee elected officials like Governor Haslam and U.S. Senator Corker that markets alone provide a fair outcome? Or will we build a movement and a consensus that Corker, Haslam and Norquist are way out of bounds and that if we don't stop them, there will continue to be growing inequality and a falling living standard for most of us in the U.S.?
President Cohen talks about the organized attack on Volkswagen workers with Ed Schultz on MSNBC.