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Preliminary injunction

Preliminary injunction

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Published by nooganews
Re: Volkswagen and UAW—Motion for Preliminary Injunction, and Brief in Support of PI Motion
Re: Volkswagen and UAW—Motion for Preliminary Injunction, and Brief in Support of PI Motion

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Published by: nooganews on Mar 19, 2014
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10/10/2014

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1
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE  AT CHATTANOOGA
MICHAEL BURTON et al., Plaintiffs, v. INTERNATIONAL UNION, UAW et al., Defendants. Case No. 1:14-CV-76
BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
Plaintiffs Michael Burton, Michael Jarvis, and David Reed move the Court to preliminarily enjoin their employer, Volkswagen Group of America, from unlawfully assisting the UAW with unionizing them and their co-workers. Section 302 of the Labor Management Relations Act (
LMRA 
), 29 U.S.C. § 186, strictly prohibits employers from delivering
any “thing of value” to a union that seeks to represent
their employees. Nevertheless, Volkswagen agreed to provide, and did provide, three things valuable to the UAW to assist its organizing campaign against Plaintiffs and their co-workers: paid captive audience meetings, use of company property, and non-compete clauses. As discussed below, there is an imminent threat that  Volkswagen will again provide these things of value to the UAW and that, as a result, Plaintiffs will be unionized against their will. The Plaintiff employees thereby move to preliminarily enjoin Volkswagen from materially assisting the UAW with becoming their exclusive bargaining representative.
Case 1:14-cv-00076-CLC-SKL Document 5 Filed 03/18/14 Page 1 of 25 PageID #: 146
 
2
FACTS
 
I. The Organizing Agreement
Plaintiffs are employed by Volkswagen at its manufacturing facility at 8001
 Volkswagen Drive, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37416 (“Chattanooga Plant”), which
employs approximately 1,500 production and maintenance employees. The UAW does not represent these employees, but seeks to unionize them. On January 27, 2014, the UAW and Volkswagen entered into an Agreement for a
Representation Election (“Organizing Agreement”).
 
See
 Burton Decl., Ex. B. In the agreement, Volkswagen agreed to assist the UAW with unionizing its employees in exchange for bargaining concessions and other consideration from the union. Specifically, Volkswagen agreed to provide three types of organizing assistance to the UAW. First, Volkswagen will conduct and pay its employees to attend captive audience meetings with the UAW at the Chattanooga Plant.
Id
., § 5(d). Second,  Volkswagen will give the UAW an office and use of other areas in the Chattanooga Plant to conduct its organizing campaign.
Id
., § 5(c). Third, Volkswagen agreed to non-compete clauses that require it
“not
 [to] take a position opposed to . . . [union] representation,
 train its supervisors not to
oppose the UAW, and “not make any
negative comments (written or verbal) against th
e UAW.”
 
Id
., §§ 5(b), (5)(f), 9. In addition to this organizing assistance, Volkswagen agreed to petition the
National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) for an expedited election on February
12-14, 2014.
Id
., § 3(a). Volkswagen and the UAW agreed in advance upon the dates
Case 1:14-cv-00076-CLC-SKL Document 5 Filed 03/18/14 Page 2 of 25 PageID #: 147
 
3 and times for the election,
id
., § 3(b), and on who was eligible to vote,
id
., § 5. In consideration
for Volkswagen’s assistance with
organizing its employees, the UAW agreed to be subservient to Volkswagen when acting as an employee representative. First, the UAW agreed to delegate many of its duties and functions to a company
“Works Counci
l
 whose leadership will be separate from the UAW and trained and funded by Volkswagen.
Id
., Ex. B, §§ 1.1, 2.3, & 3. Second, the union
agreed that, “while the parties negotiate for an initial collective bargaining
agreement, (a) the UAW will not engage in picketing, strikes, boycotts, or work
slowdowns.”
Id
., § 7. Third, the UAW agreed to negotiate collective bargaining agreements that
maintain[ ] and where possible enhance[ ] the cost advantages and other competitive advantages that [Volkswagen] enjoys relative to its competitors in the United States and North America, including but not limited to legacy automobile manufactur
ers.”
Id
., § 6(b). In other words, the UAW agreed not to bargain for wages and benefits for employees at the Chattanooga Plant that are equal or superior to those at General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, or other automakers. In addition, the UAW also agreed to limits on its organizing activities in
consideration for Volkswagen’s assistance.
This includes not making any
“negative comments” about the company,
id
., § 9,
see also id
. at § 5(c); and not conducting organizing or other activities in connection with the Chattanooga Plant or any other  Volkswagen facility for one year if the union loses the election,
id
., § 6(c).
Case 1:14-cv-00076-CLC-SKL Document 5 Filed 03/18/14 Page 3 of 25 PageID #: 148

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