The UAW alleges that Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and other politicians interfered in the closely watched vote at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, and is asking the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to order a new election. "It is extraordinary interference in the private decision of workers to have a U.S. senator, a governor and leaders of the state legislature threaten the company with the denial of economic incentives and workers with a loss of product. We're committed to standing with the Volkswagen workers to ensure that their right to have a fair vote without coercion and interference is protected," UAW President Bob King said. The union said their appeal filings, also known as objections, "detail a coordinated and widely publicized coercive campaign conducted by politicians and outside organizations to deprive Volkswagen workers of their federally protected right to join a union."
He gets no satisfaction from being right. Since the law was passed, membership in his union, which represents state employees, has fallen 60 percent; its annual budget has plunged to $2 million from $6 million. Mr. Walker's landmark law -- called Act 10 -- severely restricted the power of public-employee unions to bargain collectively, and that provision, among others, has given social workers, prison guards, nurses and other public employees little reason to pay dues to a union that can no longer do much for them. Members of Mr. Beil's group, the Wisconsin State Employees' Union, complain that their take-home pay has fallen more than 10 percent in recent years, a sign of the union's greatly diminished power. "It's had a devastating effect on our union," Mr. Beil, its executive director, said of Act 10. He was sitting in his Madison office, inside the headquarters that his union, hard up for cash, may be forced to sell. The building is underused anyway, as staff reductions have left many offices empty.*