Today's News and Commentary – April 21
The United Auto Workers Union announced today it is dropping its efforts to force a new unionization efforts at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., reports the New York Times. After the union lost a vote at the plant in February, it asked the National Labor Relations Board to hold a new election, claiming the fairness of the initial election had been compromised by threatening statements from elected officials. The Atlanta regional director for the N.L.R.B. was set to begin hearings today in Chattanooga to collect evidence on this issue. According to Bob King, the U.A.W.’s president, the union decided to drop the appeal based on concern that the N.L.R.B. adjudication process could drag on for months or even years.
The Supreme Court has declined to grant certiorari to an appeal by Florida governor Rick Scott over his plan to require random drug testing for thousands of state workers, according to the Washington Post. More information on the case can be found here and here.
The Wall Street Journal reports on a production slowdown staged by workers at a shoe manufacturing plant in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangxi, escalating a labor dispute over the distribution of social-insurance payments. The manufacturer, Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings, Ltd., is also facing worker protests over social-insurance payments at its Dongguan plant, in southern China. Yue Yuen makes shoes for Adidas and Nike.
Local government officials in the southern Indian state of Karnataka have ordered Toyota Motor Corp. and its striking workers to end their labor dispute and resume normal operations, according to the Wall Street Journal. Toyota locked out workers on March 16, claiming they were disrupting production. The company lifted the lockout last week, but most workers refused to return to work, prompting Toyota to bring in non-union replacement workers. The striking workers are demanding more holidays, company housing, raises, and reinstatement of suspended workers.
A union representing graduate student-workers across the University of California system has reached a tentative agreement with UC management over the establishment of all-gendered bathrooms and lactation stations, reports the San Diego Free Press.