Corker: Labor Board Should Not Silence Lawmakers

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Former Chattanooga, Tenn. mayor and current United States Senator Bob Corker urged the National Labor Relations Board not to silence him or fellow lawmakers opposed to unionization as the NLRB considers an appeal by the United Auto Workers over the results of the three-day election recently held at Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga.

Reuters reports Sen. Corker issued a statement during the election, where conversations led him to believe that if the workers rejected UAW representation, then VW would build a new midsize SUV in his state. He adds that when Democrat politicians voiced support for unions in the past, the NLRB ruled they properly expressed their free speech rights, a ruling Corker hopes will run for the opposition, as well:

I hope that the NLRB will understand and realize the magnitude of what they are going to be deciding and in no way will try to muzzle public officials who are community leaders from expressing their point of view.

Corker said he spoke out against the UAW in order to counteract misinformation about the SUV’s arrival being tied to the plant’s unionization, an allegation the union denies making while consistently stating the vote would not affect where the SUV would ultimately be produced.

Though mum on where his information regarding the rejection originated, Corker stood firm on his criticism of the UAW and its main reason for showing up in his state in the first place:

I think it was very apparent the UAW was in Chattanooga for one reason – dollars.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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51 of 106 comments
  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Feb 28, 2014

    No one has yet come up with a an actual argument backing up the point that what Corker did was threaten the members. Let's forget insinuation. Lets forget who he is. Let's take all the wishy washy crud out of it. Let's say he is the decision maker on whether to expand the plant. And, let's disregard that he would then be muzzled by NLRB. Let's just decide whether it's really threatening for him to say that he won't expand the plant if it goes union. Why is that a threat? He isn't saying he will fire anyone, or lay off anyone, or lower pay, or anything. If the workers vote union, they would actually be removing themselves from any benefit of plant expansion wouldn't they? If they stay non union, they could potentially see promotion opportunity by expansion because they could use their positive work history to show they are capable of more responsibility. I've said this analogy before, and the only real answer was that I know I am wrong. Not much of an argument. "If you disagree with me on this, I will not give you a million dollars." That's not a threat. It's also not what happened here. Closer would be, "If you disagree with me on this, your employer will not hire more people to do the same job you are doing." Not quite mafia level stuff there, sorry.

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    • KixStart KixStart on Mar 02, 2014

      @Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie, What was the purpose of that question? This isn't the kind of piece where one's favorite car or enjoyment of cars comes into play... it's a TTAC piece on politics. I can't imagine why you'd ask that unless your intent was to somehow impugn Xeranar's standing as a "car guy" and therefore, in some weird way, unqualified to speak up on TTAC in a political thread.

  • Crosley Crosley on Feb 28, 2014

    So if Corker just keeps talking about this subject, the vote will never be certified, because it could have been tainted? Sounds like a plan to me. Something tells me if a Democrat Senator made pro-union statements before a factory vote, the same whiners would not ask for the results to be thrown out if it went their way.

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    • Jimal Jimal on Mar 02, 2014

      @u mad scientist Well you've got that going for you...

  • GeneralMalaise GeneralMalaise on Mar 01, 2014

    The unions are going away. In most cases, that is a good thing.

  • Sector 5 Sector 5 on Mar 02, 2014

    Christ, Corker looks like Stephan Schwarzman in much the same way Ed Sullivan looked like Richard Nixon or Robert Ballard seems Alan Aldaish. I swear you Americans pop out of sausage machines in clumps.