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The Stream Official Blog

Feb 14
The Stream

Did a senator break a federal labor law with his Volkswagen statement?

Workers walk by the Volkswagen AG plant in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Erik Schelzig/AP

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) threw a potential wrench in a contentious unionization vote at Volkswagen's plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. on Wednesday when he said he had been "assured" that the plant would be given a new SUV production line if it rejects union representation from United Auto Workers.

Sen. Corker's statement, which was made on the first day of a three-day secret ballot at the plant, has labor experts scrambling to determine if he violated federal labor law. The National Labor Relations Act requires "laboratory conditions" for union elections in which workers are free to make decisions about organizing without being coerced or unduly influenced.

Regardless of whether Corker, pictured below, can be held personally liable, his statements could potentially invalidate the results of the unionization vote, which should be released Friday evening. 

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