The United Auto Workers union lost a very public election campaign at the Chattanooga Volkswagen plan several months ago. Down, but not out, the union has vowed to organize auto manufacturers in the south, including those in Tennessee, which is a right to work state. Employees in right to work states have the option to not join a union if they don’t want to. On the flip side, employees in non-right to work states must be members of a union if a union represents workers in their job classification at their company.
UAW Local 1585 recently published the names and workstations of more than 40 workers at the Spring Hill, Tennessee General Motors plant who have opted out of the union. The Union calls it a “Scab Report,” since scab is a derogatory word for non-union workers. The report says, “The following individuals are NON-dues paying workers. They have chosen to STOP paying Union Dues and still reap the rewards of your negotiated benefits. If you work near one of these people listed, please explain the importance of Solidarity and the power of collective bargaining.” I’m sure the term “explain” will be interpreted many different ways by the union brotherhoods – for some it probably includes baseball bats and bricks through windows.
Interestingly, the UAW has established a voluntary union in Chattanooga in an effort to maintain a presence before the Volkswagen workers who rejected their representation earlier this year. I’m certain that within time the Chattanooga Volkswagen employees who do not voluntarily join the union will see their names on a similar Scab Report hit list.