- Associated Press - Saturday, May 24, 2014

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - Three Volkswagen employees have withdrawn their federal lawsuit challenging what they called “a backroom deal” between the United Auto Workers and the automobile manufacturer to create a union at the Chattanooga plant.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports (https://bit.ly/1r3qpgp ) the workers voluntarily withdrew their lawsuit Friday.

The National Right to Work Foundation, which represented the workers, said the withdrawal was prompted by Volkswagen and UAW attorneys’ concessions in legal papers that the union cannot seek another election until sometime next year.

Mark Mix, the foundation’s president, said the workers and the group successfully defended the result of the February election, in which the UAW lost an organizing vote at the Chattanooga plant by a 53 percent to 47 percent margin.

The employees alleged that in a pre-election agreement, Volkswagen gave the union access to names and facilities at the Chattanooga plant in exchange for the UAW holding down costs if it won the organizing vote at the factory.

Volkswagen and the UAW denied the charges and sought a dismissal of the lawsuit.

UAW attorneys said the agreement didn’t violate federal labor law because “courts and the National Labor Relations Board have long upheld and enforced labor-management agreements including the very type of agreement terms … challenged here.”

The U.S. Department of Justice said this week in a legal brief that neither Volkswagen nor the UAW violated federal law in their election agreement prior to the vote.

Volkswagen employee Mike Jarvis, one of the parties in the suit, said the workers were worried the union was “going to be forced on us.” Last month, the UAW withdrew its appeal for a revote.

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Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, https://www.timesfreepress.com

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