I was disheartened after the UAW bid was defeated in Tennessee, especially after the workers on the Ed Show were certain it would pass. It was a major gut shot and certainly angered me towards the republican politicians actions leading up to the vote.
However, I have increasingly come to think that this may be a golden opportunity to reintroduce minority status members-only unions to the country.
Non-majority, members-only unions are rare to non-existent today, but this was not always the case. In fact, members only unions were the most popular types of unions before, during and immediately after the passage of the NLRA. While the model labor has used in the decades since has driven them to near-extinction, they are fully and legally protected under the NLRA. The majority vote union election is only in the case where a particular union wishes to be the 'exclusive representative' of a bargaining unit. In the absence of such a vote, the union would negotiate only on behalf of its members.
There is a very compelling legal case and a lot of historical evidence that employers are required to negotiate with non-majority, members-only unions. They would be on very sound legal footing in demanding to negotiate. (Further, if management has any kind of open-door policy regarding its workers, it would strike me as an unfair labor practice to not agree to meet with a group of people.) In 2007, seven unions asked the NLRB to compel an employer(Dick's Sporting Goods) to negotiate with a non-majority, members-only union that had been formed. The General Counsel dismissed the case and it was never heard. However, that was GWB's NLRB. Obama's NLRB is fully functioning with itself and the general counsel confirmed by the United States Senate. The DC District court has been filled with the Obama appointees(it would hear any challenge to an NLRB decision). A filing to compel negotiation with a non-majority, members-only union will come in the near future.
But, my argument is to form a non-majority, members-only union represented by the UAW at the VW plant and negotiate with VW. I do not believe anyone would have any legal standing to challenge it. It would seem to help to smooth the transition as, hopefully, non-majority members-only unions become commonplace. It would educate America that non-majority, members-only unions are fully legal and protected without having the questions surrounding a court case.
Estimates have been made that non-majority members-only would very quickly bring unionization rates to 17-18 percent and would eliminate the unfairness that exists in right-to-work states.
I am very interested in hearing what you have to say.