Chattanooga: Right-to-Work Sues VW and UAW on 302 Theory

ON LABOR

Several Volkswagen employees, represented by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, have sued VW and the UAW on the theory that the parties’ “Agreement for a Representation Election” is a “thing of value” that violates § 302 of the Taft-Hartley Act, 29 U.S.C. 186.  In particular, the plaintiffs claim that Volkswagen agreed to pay, lend, or deliver things of value to the union by: holding meetings at which it conveyed its support for the formation of a works council; granting the UAW access to the employer’s property; and agreeing “not [to] take a position opposed to [union] representation.”  This is the theory that was at issue in Mulhall, which we have discussed at length.  The provisions of the “Agreement” that plaintiffs challenge are standard in hundreds of similar agreements and are not the sort of “things of value” contemplated by §302.  All the problems…

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