The United Auto Workers (UAW) filed a legal challenge late Friday with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to the certification of the organizing vote it lost last Friday at Volkswagen’s auto plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The challenge was submitted just hours before the seven day post-election filing deadline expired.
On Tuesday, attorney Joseph Farelli, a nationally recognized labor law expert, told Breitbart News the UAW would have little chance of success if it filed a challenge to NLRB certification of the election. “I don’t think the NLRB is willing to break new ground and state the conduct of a third party is sufficient to void the outcome of the election.”
As Farelli explained, labor law on the grounds for filing a challenge to an NLRB certification of an organizing election is very clear.
“I think [the UAW] have an uphill battle because normally there are ‘laboratory conditions;’ neither the union nor the employer can make incendiary comments,” Farelli said. “Volkswagen didn’t make those type [of] comments. The union would have to show the employer made those comments violating those ‘laboratory conditions.'”
Though Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker made public remarks prior to the vote that a successful UAW vote would hurt future Volkswagen expansion, Farelli explained that “the law doesn’t cover outside groups. They would have to show Volkswagen was coordinating efforts with the outside groups… Bob Corker is not an agent of the employer.”
In its complaint, however, the UAW decided to ask the NLRB to break new ground. It alleged that Corker’s comments “intended to coerce employees to vote against UAW.”
The NLRB, dominated now by Obama administration appointees, may be so emboldened by the lack of any successful pushback against numerous other Obama administration violations of constitutional constraints on executive branch power grabs that it will decide to change the law on its own.
For his part, Corker was dismissive of the UAW when he learned of its legal challenge. “The workers at Chattanooga’s Volkswagen plant spoke very clearly last week, so we are disappointed the UAW is ignoring their decision and has filed this objection,” he said Friday.
The UAW’s decision to file a legal challenge to the certification of the Volkswagen election results despite the lack of any supporting grounds in existing labor law may indicate that the union’s lawyers have an insight into the willingness of the NLRB commissioners to discard the rule of law. Given the Obama administration’s long record of blatantly usurping Congress’s legislative authority in innumerable other situations, it seems more likely that the NLRB will bow to the UAW’s wishes.