CEI Report: Secret Ballot in Union Elections in Peril

WASHINGTON, April 16 –  A new Competitive Enterprise Institute report by policy analyst Trey Kovacs documents efforts by the United Auto Workers (UAW) to bypass a secret-ballot election in order to unionize workers at Volkswagen’s only U.S. factory in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Plant workers voted against unionization in February, 2014. The UAW subsequently challenged the vote by appealing to the National Labor Relations Board, and a hearing is scheduled for April 21.

“The UAW has been relentless in its efforts to pressure people into supporting unionization through harassment and misinformation,” said Trey Kovacs, author of the CEI OnPoint, “How the UAW Lost Tennessee.” “Labor unions in collaboration with employers should not have the power to take away workers’ right to a secret ballot election, and U.S. labor law should be reformed to guarantee the only mechanism for conducting a union election is a secret ballot.”

According to the report, UAW membership has plummeted to an all-time low, from a high in 1979 of 1.5 million to under 400,000 today. 

“The United Auto Workers has been desperately and strategically targeting foreign automakers in the South as part of its renewed organizing strategy,” said Kovacs. “Currently, UAW is conducting similar organizing campaigns at the Nissan plant in Mississippi and Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama.”

> Read the full report, “How the UAW Lost Tennessee;  Gaming U.S. Labor Law Failed to Overcome Worker Opposition” by Trey Kovacs