UAW Scandal Hits Chattanooga

WFB: A labor watchdog is making the United Auto Workers’ bribery scandal the centerpiece of its campaign urging workers to reject unionization.

The UAW is attempting to gain a foothold in right-to-work Tennessee, pushing to organize a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga that rejected a previous union vote. The election will take place just weeks after a top union official pleaded guilty for his role in a bribery scandal at Chrysler. The Center for Union Facts has made it a priority to inform workers of corruption ahead of the vote, taking out full-page ads in the Chattanooga Times Free Press on Wednesday.

“Think the UAW has workers’ best interests in mind?” the ad says. “Multiple union officials pleaded guilty in a scheme to enrich themselves with worker training funds. The union has paid more than $1.5 million of members’ dues to defend itself in the investigation.”

The Justice Department announced bribery charges against top union and company officials in 2017 after finding that several key figures had embezzled money from a worker training center to enrich themselves. The scandal reached its peak when retired UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell, who headed union negotiations with Chrysler, admitted to taking luxury golf trips paid for by the company. The union, which spent $218,000 defending Jewell, distanced itself from the executive saying he had exhibited “poor judgment” in connection to the scandal.

The UAW has emphasized its cooperation with investigators throughout the ordeal and launched a new transparency initiative in the wake of the indictments. A union spokesman said that the campaign in Chattanooga is about the future of workers at VW, rather than the mistakes of individual union officials. Labor organizations represent VW workers at nearly every factory in the world outside of the United States, according to the spokesman.

“Why should Chattanooga workers have to ask the boss for a raise not sit at a table and bargain like every other VW worker in the world?” he said in an email. “Chattanooga workers deserve the right to vote and be treated like all other VW workers who all have the right to bargain.”

The ad will also appear in the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press in an effort to reach current UAW members. The Center for Union Facts said that the message is designed to spur discussion among current union members about their affiliation. The group’s spokesman Charlyce Bozzello said CUF will also launch a new website,, to catalog the corruption allegations.

“The UAW has a history of lavish spending on the worker’s dime, and the ongoing federal investigation may just be the tip of the iceberg,” she said. “Whether the union is turning its back on workers in distress, or throwing lavish parties with money intended for training funds, workers should know what they’re really in for when it comes to the UAW. This site aims to do just that.”

Some union members have already spoken out against the union in connection to the scandal. While Jewell has been removed from UAW leadership, he still adorns monuments to labor strikes and picture still hangs in some local union halls, sparking a petition to scrub his name from all UAW property. More than 130 people, many of whom identify as UAW members, have signed on to the campaign.  more here

17 Comments on UAW Scandal Hits Chattanooga

  1. That plant makes a shit load of automobiles. I get to sit at several RR crossings and wait while they trundle past on their way to where ever. I remember when the first union push failed. Even when the union brought in PR folks for the media and low level organizers from up north to talk to the workers. They pretty much all got the cold shoulder.

  2. My grandfather was a ship welder in WW2.
    In the 70s he said “The unions are all about money now.”
    I trust Bill.

  3. I heard an ad on the radio here in Atlanta that basically was a warning about the sneaky, crooked shit unions do to get control of a workforce, in the form of a conversation between two workers. The ad was obviously aimed at local working people who might have experienced union bullying, or will soon have to deal with it. I had never heard that kind of ad before in Georgia. We always took right-to-work for granted here. Time to wake up, Georgia. Trouble is coming down from Chattanooga again.

  4. …I remember when UFCW tried to organize my food plant. They were at the doors handing out literature in their Obama shirts, just in case there was any doubt what they were going to do with dues.

    The owner made it clear that if the union was voted in Monday, the plant would be shuttered on Tuesday. They weren’t kidding, either, they had just moved in from another state to break the LAST union. Since most of the people had worked in a union shop before, and weren’t NOW because the union had caused their FORMER employers to shut down, it was a non-starter.

    Unions ain’t nothing but another layer of management, and one that does stupid things with the money they TAKE from you. I was IAFF once, and THEY ignored ALL the rank and file to go full-retard Democrat, so that’s what you get…that, and a small pay rate change that gets taken back in dues.


    I know a guy who worked at a Ford plant in Dearborn, with a valid grievance for unpaid overtime. The union rep bartered it away in exchage for a guy caught sleeping, without asking him or telling him until it was a done deal and no recourse was possible.

    …I also know a woman who went from my plant to a Ford transmission plant in Sharonville Ohio, and was yelled at when she tried to empty her own garbage can.

    Also, a guy I worked with came from the now-defunct GM plant in Norwood Ohio, and has stories like the time a paint line broke, and no one was allowed to even turn it off until a pipe fitter came on a golf cart 10 minutes later, and turned it off.

    One last example, two guys from a union shop installed a machine in our plant. One guy wanted a wrench on the other side of the machine, and one of our guys started to hand it to him, and the union guy had a FIT. He made him put it back so he could walk all the way around the machine to get it himself, because this was how the union fluffs hours.

    …i got a LOT more, but suffice to say that from what I’VE seen, unions are worse than useless Democrat piggy banks and nothing ELSE.

    You were lucky Volkswagen. Pray you stay that way.

  5. I used to work the front desk in a destination resort hotel. We did a TON of union convention / conference business and these guys were as crooked as they come. I’d say 99% of their ‘work’ during their stays in the hotel could have been done with a 30 minute conference call.

  6. I was UAW from 88 to 98…Sometimes I was forced to be a union

    steward because a good friend of mine was president…I F*cking

    hated it….We worked 58 hours a Week…and on Sundays they

    wanted to have meetings…Basically everyone patting each other on

    back…During Football Season I’d walk in..Make sure everyone saw me

    then I’d f*ck off to watch football.It took them 2 years to figure

    that out…I got an extra $35 a week to listen to sh*theads whine.

  7. IIRC, there was some tie-in to the emissions scandal and Obama’s hyperactive NLRB and himself strongarmed giving the union a foothold where everyone had voted against it not long before.

    We’ll just keep having votes until we get the outcome we want. Then get the euronazi unionists to threaten closing the plant unless they are forced to have a percent unionize.

  8. …sometimes they hold the vote where there’s 2 boxes, 1 for unionizing and 1 against, a union rep, and a management rep at a table. The workers are filed in and each must place his ballot in one box or the other in full view of the union and management reps. They can FORCE this if enough people sign Union cards, and “Obama” tried to make it LAW.

    …And you’d better hope YOUR side wins, because they WILL remember you if they DON’T…

  9. Remember all these horror stories when bankrupt union pension funds beg for bail outs. Unions officials can afford to waste millions on themselves, put hundreds of millions into every leftist politician and cause but they can’t shore up their own damn pension funds?

  10. Three points;

    #1—Unions have out-lived their usefulness many years ago.

    #2—NEVER trust union bosses.

    #3—There should NEVER be public unions….under ANY circumstances.

  11. Thread just makes me remember Gung Ho (1986) 30+ years later.
    In it’s way, there was no comedy about it.
    Was as on point than, as it is now.
    So glad for the cliche ‘we always learn from history’.
    looking forward when that cliche becomes the truth.

  12. IIRC, VW some years ago had the highest labor costs in all of auto manufacturing, mostly because the German labor unions had extorted a great deal for themselves at VW’s expense. Which ultimately translated into higher prices and lower sales. Pretty sure they don’t want to repeat that cycle outside of Germany.


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