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NFL and MLB Leaders Commend Volkswagen Employees on UAW Local 42

10/2/2014: UAW Local 42 is drawing praise from labor leaders across America — including those in the National Football League and Major League Baseball.

Upon learning of Local 42 and Volkswagen’s newly announced plant expansion in Chattanooga, NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith congratulated Volkswagen employees. “It doesn’t matter whether your hand is on the scrimmage line or the assembly line, you need your own organization to help co-determine your future,” Smith wrote in a letter to Local 42 members. “Having a union is like playing a team sport. Everyone must pull together for the success of all.”

Smith compared the UAW’s efforts to those of the NFL Players Association. “We look out for the health and safety of NFL players just as UAW Local 42 will seek to insure safe work practices for Volkswagen production and maintenance employees,” he said. “The NFLPA provides on-the-job representation for players, as UAW Local 42 does for auto workers. And just as the NFLPA partners with team owners to insure the future success of the National Football League, UAW Local 42 will partner with Volkswagen to make your plant economically successful for years to come.”

He added: Local 42 members can “build a strong and solid organization to help yourselves, your families, and the greater Chattanooga community.”

Similarly, Major League Baseball Players Executive Director Tony Clark congratulated the members of Local 42. “We support your efforts to form a union at your workplace,” Clark wrote in a separate letter. “I would encourage you to follow in the footsteps of millions of other employees across the United States and become — as they have — a part of a labor union that negotiates the terms and conditions of their employment, sitting across the table from management as equal parties under the federal law that guarantees the right to union representation.”

Clark said Major League Baseball players have “achieved much through collective bargaining, including a fair pension, good health insurance and a grievance and arbitration process.” He added: “I urge all of you to stick together, to join UAW Local 42, and to then go on to bargain for a fair contract that brings you greater respect and a greater voice on the job.

“I wish you the best of luck.”