The battle for the unionization of Volkswagen's Chattanooga factory is far from over. So say a number of labor experts who spoke to Reuters about the UAW and its failed bid to organize the factory's workers. This report comes barely a week after the union surprisingly dropped its appeal of the original vote.
According to experts like Larry Drapkin, a labor attorney in Los Angeles, instead of pushing for a large, factory-wide vote, the UAW could attempt to infiltrate smaller sections of the factory that are segregated from the greater workforce. The body shop, which is apparently pro-union, could be a prime target for the UAW.
The downside to this plan is that, like a factory-wide vote, it couldn't be done until February 2015, thanks to the guidelines of the National Labor Relations Board. The other option completely cuts out the NLRB, in favor of a neutral third party. The vote could be held either with the factory's entire workforce participating or just a portion, and it could be held without waiting a year.
The UAW could also push for a mix of both the "private" election and the segmented approach, according to one professor, who spoke to Reuters. "Through a private election, the UAW might want to carve out a group of workers among whom it has considerable support. That's a possible strategy," said Gary Chaison, a professor of industrial relations at Clark University in Massachusetts.
Finally, the UAW could opt for a card check, which we've explained before. "The issue is do you use the government NLRB route, which the employer can insist on, or do you, as an employer and a union, agree to do some other method that legally may be used to determine the wishes of the employees," Ron Meisburg, a former NLRB member, told Reuters.
In the end, the best scenario for VW and the UAW might just be to wait a year, and hold a secret ballot vote with the backing of the NLRB, which Meisburg says has "the highest degree of integrity."