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Mar 17

The Chattanooga Vote and the Future of Organized Labor

Volkswagen employees in Chattanooga, Tennessee stunned the labor movement when they voted against unionizing on February 14th. The workers’ rejection of the union was all the more astounding because Volkswagen had invited United Auto Workers (UAW) organizers into its plant, and although VW maintained it was "neutral," in fact management tacitly and overtly encouraged its employees to unionize.

But many workers questioned whether UAW representation would actually benefit their workplace. The National Right to Work Foundation helped these workers exercise their rights and the Center for Worker Freedom, a project of Americans for Tax Reform, helped them make their case. On Election Day the workers’ arguments carried the day. Unions cannot blame this defeat on corporate hostility. The workers – not Volkswagen – rejected unionizing. 

Please join The Heritage Foundation for a discussion of what this vote means for the future of organized labor and federal labor law. Matt Patterson will discuss why workers found the UAW’s arguments unconvincing and what its failure says about the union’s future. James Sherk will discuss alternative ways to increase employee participation in company policy. John Raudabaugh will discuss the National Right to Work Foundation’s role in pressing for a secret ballot vote and how to modernize outdated labor laws.

More About the Speakers

Matt Patterson
Executive Director, Center for Worker Freedom, Americans for Tax Reform 

Ray LaJeunesse
Vice President and Legal Director, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation

Hosted By

James Sherk James Sherk

Research Fellow, Labor Economics Read More