The United Auto Workers have now officially abandoned any and all efforts to unionize the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee in what has to be a pretty brutal defeat for all working Americans.
The United Auto Workers, surprising even its supporters, on Monday abruptly withdrew its legal challenge to a union organizing vote that it lost at a Volkswagen AG plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee in February.
Just an hour before the start of a National Labor Relations Board hearing on the challenge, the union dropped its case, casting a cloud over its long and still unsuccessful push to organize foreign-owned auto plants in the U.S. South.
VW workers due to testify at the hearing were already at the courthouse in downtown Chattanooga when they heard the news, which left lawyers in the hearing room wondering how to proceed.
The union did not explain why it waited until the 11th hour to drop the case, but UAW official Gary Casteel said the decision not to go ahead was made last week.
That was when Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, U.S. Senator Bob Corker from Tennessee, and Washington small government activist Grover Norquist said they would ignore subpoenas to attend the hearing, which was to have focused partly on their conduct in the days leading up to the plant workers vote.
"It became obvious to us that they were going to become objectionists and not allow the process to go forward in a transparent way. When that happens, these things can drag on for years," Casteel said in an interview.
And dragging on for years is something the UAW apparently doesn't have the stomach or money for. So the GOP union busters win again in a victory for "right to work" because the real problem in America is that auto workers somehow make too much money.
UAW President Bob King, whose term expires in June, had vowed four years ago to successfully bring the union into a foreign-owned Southern plant. Three years ago, he said that if the union was unable to do so, its future was in jeopardy.
"The UAW is ready to put February's tainted election in the rearview mirror and instead focus on advocating for new jobs and economic investment in Chattanooga," King said in a statement on Monday.
Sure you will, Bob. And no, the UAW officially no longer matters apparently, and collective bargaining and labor laws are simply more outdated anachronisms in a country where billions in wage theft is considered normal and acceptable.