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Their is a Union Local under that roof today
Unions are dead.  Long live labor unions.  The Supreme Court has finally stacked the deck enough that the 20th century paradigm of union organizing can no longer succeed.  To survive the labor movement must change it's tactics and turn recent labor rulings to it's advantage.  In Tennessee, the UAW appears to be doing just that and today there is a union local, Local 42 representing the workers in the Volkswagen Plant at Chattanooga, TN.
(MSNBC) Instead of calling on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to administer an election, the UAW has decided to form a voluntary association called Local 42. At least initially, the group will not collectively bargain on behalf of the plant’s whole workforce, and it will not collect dues. Yet if a majority of the plant’s employees agree to join Local 42, there is a chance that Volkswagen will recognize it as the workers’ exclusive bargaining agent, granting it full union privileges without the need for an election.
A "Voluntary Local" may be the entrée into thousands of large non-union plants and industries though out the country.  This is especially true in Republican "Right to Work" states were many companies who would prefer a union model are actively discouraged by conservatives who don't want any virulent strains of prosperity to run amok in the labor class.  Volkswagon is an ideal test for this guerrilla tactic.  The plant's workers are well aware that they were duped before recent union elections into believing VW would pull back future work if the unionization was successful.  After the vote VW made obvious the lies mouthed by Sen. Bob Corker (R) and others.  VW went so far as to say that VW would look to states with more favorable union climates for future expansions.  VW clearly wants an organized labor presence to work with both for common negotiations and for workplace safety and efficiency issues.  That labor/management partnership is a hallmark of the worlds largest auto maker.

It is clear that the activist judiciary entrenched by GW Bush has a passionate hard-on for unions.  It may have to do with the political power they used to have (very past tense) and the lobbying leverage they are losing every day.

Those people standing up for their rights?  
Yeah, they all got fired by their employer... US.
It certainly has to do with unshackling the "invisible hand of the market" by giving workers the "right to work" at the total will of the employers with no organized protections or negotiations.   This assault on labor that began with Ronald Reagans firing of the entire PATCO union force in 1981 has since seen practically no real income growth for the American working class while productivity has risen by roughly 65%.  

Home care workers in MN are not letting a recent rulingby the rabidly anti-labor Supreme Court stop them from holding elections to join the SEIU:

(Daily Planet - a local weekly and I love to link to that name) Joined by the clients they serve, workers who care for people in their homes filed Tuesday to form a union. Organizing under the slogan, “Invisible No More,” they said a union will improve pay, working conditions and the quality of care.
The state Bureau of Mediation Services will conduct a mail ballot election among the state’s 26,000 home care workers, making it the largest single union vote in state history.
The workers are seeking representation by SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, a statewide local of the Service Employees International Union. They filed cards signed by more than 9,000 home care workers, triggering the process for a vote. Organizers expect the election to take place in August.
The Anti-Unionists have used the automatic assessment of union fees from entire classes of affiliated workers as their primary axe to chop at collective bargaining.  Partially unionizing companies was much more of the norm in the early years of the labor movement and enforced dues are now a legal hazard.  The UAW and the SEIU have to pivot to a more flexible stance that can put a union presence into a sector and then let the sector come to it.  The success of one "voluntary" union local in one VW plant can put both pressure and incentive on others to follow.  

Last week I took my 16 year old son on a coming of age sorta' drive to N'Orleans.  The highway from Nashville to Memphis was wallpapered with huge factories representing corporations from Japan to China to Germany and many part in between.   If workers in a VW plant can have a better life than those in a Nissan plant due to the UAW while VW sees a better labor relationship, change will be inevitable.  Labor WILL boom again in this country but the soil has changed and so must the seed.  I am confident we will see many more guerrilla organizing tactics experimented with this year and for years to come until we again have a SCOTUS that restores workers rights.


* [new]  UAW made this announcement on Thursday (8+ / 0-)
and yesterday, Monday,VW announced it was going to build their new mid-sized SUV at that same plant.  The building of this SUV was at the center of the controversy earlier this year.    TN GOP a-holes were telling workers that VW wouldn't build the SUV in TN if they had a union.  Then they were also threatening to not provide the proposed tax breaks if they voted yes.
That they announced these together feels like an intentional F-U to those that were trying to stop it.

by Short Bus on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 04:06:59 AM PDT

Originally posted to Reinvented Daddy on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 07:33 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, Hellraisers Journal, and Three Star Kossacks.

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