U.S. Sen. Bob Corker fired back at his union critics Tuesday, reports the Times-Free Press, accusing the United Auto Workers of trying to unfairly limit what state and federal lawmakers said about organized labor during the recent unionization election at Volkswagen.
The UAW has accused Corker and other Republican politicians of creating a climate of fear and intimidation in their anti-union comments before the election in which hourly employees at the VW plant in Chattanooga voted 712-626 against representation by the UAW.
On Friday, the union asked the National Labor Relations Board to order a new election because Corker, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and other Republicans warned before the vote that the union might hurt the plant and limit state incentives for Volkswagen to add a sports utility vehicle line at its Chattanooga plant.
“Now this is going to the NLRB, something that the president controls,” Corker said in an interview with CNBC on Tuesday. “The question will be whether they will try to muzzle or keep a United States senator, a governor or a state legislator from being able to express their views.”
Anti-union workers at VW worry that the NLRB will side with the union and order a new election since Volkswagen has signed a neutrality agreement with the union and isn’t opposing the organizing effort.
…Corker said he and the governor, along with GOP legislative leaders in Nashville, were simply trying to tell workers their concerns about union representation to counter the UAW representatives who were allowed to make public presentations within the VW plant before the vote.