What Do the UAW "Signed Cards" Really Mean?

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Ashley Henderson
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Updated: 9/16/2013 6:53 pm
The National Right To Work Foundation says Volkswagen employees who signed union cards may have been misled about their purpose.
The United Auto Workers says it has more than 50 per cent of the necessary cards to form a union at the plant.

The 2500 employees at the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant are waiting to see whether the company will accept a proposal from the United Auto Workers to forego an election.
That followed an announcement last week that the UAW already enough signed cards to do that.
The union has been working with employees at V-W for several months.
But the National Right to Work foundation of Springfield, Virginia says the employees may have been misled.

(BY PHONE) PATRICK SEMMENS, V.P., NATIONAL RIGHT TO WORK FOUNDATION "..,people are told you know what the card means, and they realize its used for something else."

UAW organizer Casteel, who headed-up the union effort at Volkswagen has not responded to our request for an interview.
We also contacted UAW media person, Michelle Martin in Atlanta who did not return our call.
The Volkswagen plant has reportedly advised employees not to comment publicly.
V-W leaders say they would encourage a Work Council inside the plant, although not necessarily a union.
Former V-W President for Manufacturing, Don Jackson, spoke at a recent employers conference in Chattanooga.

DON JACKSON, RETIRED, FORMER V-W EXECUTIVE "The team members can represent themselves, they don't need someone to represent them."

The UAW says Volkswagen can accept the signed cards if it wants to.
Some Chattanooga and State officials are urging the company not to do so.

PATRICK SEMMENS, NATION RIGHT TO WORK FOUNDATION "When an employee,you know has a union organizer,sometimes 2 or 3 in front of them..they may sign a card tom get the union off their back." "They recognize that signing a card is not the same as voting when you have the privacy of a secret ballot."

Getting a foot in the door at a foreign automaker in the South would be a coup for the UAW.
Most southern states have right-to-work laws as a shield to discourage the UAW from gaining a foothold at manufacturing plants in the region.
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