UAW claims coercion, appeals 'no' vote at Tennessee auto plant

Feb 21, 2014

The United Auto Workers is blaming outside interference for its defeat this month in a union election at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The UAW filed an appeal of that vote today with the National Labor Relations Board.

In the days leading up to the vote, numerous Tennessee politicians threatened to kill millions of dollars of state incentives for an expansion of the plant if the workers voted to unionize.

In the end, plant workers voted down the union by a narrow margin.

In the appeal filed by the UAW, the union alleges Tennessee politicians and outside groups conducted a “coercive campaign” to deprive workers of their right to join a union.

The union is asking the NLRB to investigate and possibly set aside the results of the election.

The defeat at the Chattanooga plant is seen as a major setback for the UAW, which is trying to unionize other auto plants in the South.