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Supreme Court Ruling

Fellow Workers,

Just recently, there was an important ruling by the Supreme Court, that strongly affects the rights of every blue collar worker in the United States, including us at Volkswagen. Again, our courts and elected officials have failed the very people that they are sworn to look out for.

The Supreme Court recently sided, again, with big business. In the process, they took away some very important rights that you had as a worker. Most notably, they took away your right to stand together with your co-workers, and sue your employer under a “class-action” status, over things such as physical injury, discrimination, sexual harassment, wages, overtime abuse, etc. The “class action” status, meant that you could have grouped together with other affected employees, and had one lawyer represent everyone, without every single person having to retain their own individual lawyer. With the cost of an attorney being so expensive, this was sometimes the only option many workers had at gaining legal representation.

Not only has the court taken away that right, but even more disturbing, they have also given the employers the right to DENY EMPLOYMENT to any job applicant that does not sign a waiver. The waiver forces you, as a “Condition of Employment”, to give up your right to sue in an open court, with a judge and a jury present. In signing this waiver, you instead agree to a closed-door “arbitration” process. This process almost always favors the employer. which would make your odds of being treated fairly, almost non-existent. In other words, you either sign the waiver, or you don’t get the job.

This recently enacted law, which passed barely over a month ago, has surprisingly (or not) already made it’s way into our new 2018 Volkswagen Employee Handbook. This may explain why Volkswagen has waited until now to distribute the handbooks, instead of giving them out at the beginning of the year, as they always have. You may find it on page 17, under the heading of “Agreements”. Link to page 17 in the handbook. Link to article, link to news release from the media, detailing the amendment. Please take time to read this with your families.

However, there is one very important thing you should know. As stated several times in the article, this ruling affects tens of millions of blue-collar, middle-class American workers like you! But the ruling DOES NOT apply to unionized workers! Voting for, and joining a union, gives you certain legal rights under federal law, including legal representation by your union. Should your employer ever break a law that results in harm to you, this representation is supplied at no cost to the union member, and they will have this representation throughout the entire legal process, from beginning to end! Please remember this, as we move forward in our quest for a union in our plant. YOUR VOTE AND YOUR VOICE COUNT! Let’s make them do away with page 17!

UAW Local 42

Local 42 funds, builds new boat ramp

Working with the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance and other Chattanooga-area unions, UAW Local 42 recently completed a project to install a new and improved courtesy pier at the Wolftever Creek Boat Ramp adjacent to Harrison Bay State Park on Highway 58.  A dozen Local 42 members joined volunteers from the IBEW, Sheet Metal Workers, and Iron Workers unions to demolish the existing pier and install a new pier.

On Saturday April 7, volunteers demolished and removed the old dock, which had rotting and missing deck boards and was unusable in the winter when the water level is low.  Using cutting torches, pry bars, chain saws and sawsalls, volunteers cut the 60 feet of ramp into pieces that could be hauled away.  Two weeks later, the new dock was delivered in eight pieces on a flatbed semi-truck.  A reach forklift placed each piece in place while volunteers bolted them together and drove anchor posts into the shore.  Composite deck boards were screwed down and aluminum rails installed.  The new pier is 104 feet long, making it usable year round.

“This is what UAW Local 42 is all about,” said President Steve Cochran.  “We not only make Volkswagen a better place to work but help make Chattanooga a better place to live.  I’m very proud of our union.”

Region 8 Director Ray Curry agreed.  “In a short period of time, Local 42 has become a leader in the Chattanooga community.  Not only did the local raise the money for this new pier but they pitched in and helped build it.”  Local 42 raised $10,000 toward the pier at the Sportsmen’s Banquet last November.

Many thanks to the Local 42 members who volunteered:

Steve Cochran                       Dave Gleeson                         Roger Dalton

Troy Hunt                               Frank Stewart                         Doug Rosette

Billy Quigg                              Mike Collins                           Randy Brewer

Wyatt Ramby                         Tony Ramby                           Johnny Meeks