Mercedes is defending itself against UAW union-busting charges. With a United Auto Workers vote scheduled to begin Monday at Tuscaloosa County's non-union Mercedes Benz plant, allegations of union busting attempts by the German company and have brought a strong denial from Mercedes.

By their very nature attempts by organized labor to set up a union shop in a business or industry is adversarial, confrontational, have split the work force, ended long tern friendships and generally have not been accepted willingly by a non-union employer.

The trip down that slippery slope invariably begins with a segment of a company's workforce becoming disenchanted and making allegations that the employer is not treating workers fairly, that pay is not keeping up with expenses and the company will not listen to them. That lights the fuse to the powder keg that eventually explodes when a union is invited to help organize the workforce.

Few employers are going to sit back and be repeatedly attacked as being the "bad Guys" without a response. They don't want a union infringing on their business operations. When that happens finger pointing rises to a new emotional level.

Unions can do and say pretty much what they want without fear of consequences because the rules let them. The National Labor Relations Board is historically union friendly so that leads company management to feel ganged up on.

When companies fight back it doesn't take a union long to file a claim of union busting against them. That is what has happened in the United Auto Workers unionization attempt at the Mercedes Benz auto plant in Vance.

During the German company's annual shareholders meeting this week company officials reaffirmed their commitment to a free and fair union election.

“Mercedes respects the decision of the employees to establish a trade union organization, and it will monitor the election process and will make sure that every team member has the opportunity to cast a secret vote,” board member Renata Jungo Bruengger was quoted by BBC as telling attendees.

The National Labor Relations Act does not allow a company to prohibit employees from joining a union, even in a "Right-to-Work" state like Alabama. They cannot legally interfere with organizing efforts by, "Restraining or coercing employees into not organizing. Threatening to fire employees or take away benefit."

Contrary to the belief of some, a company is allowed to factually share their perspective on a union. The company is allowed to put up posters, mail notices, conduct group meetings and use the internet to get their point across, point out the cost of union dues and explain other consequences of joining a union. But they are not allowed to do this in a threatening/aggressive manner.

But UAW claims Mercedes has illegally retaliated against pro-union employees and been overly aggressive in its opposition.  The union has filed federal labor charges against Mercedes in the U.S. and Germany for alleged labor law violations.

The charges filed in German allege Mercedes-Benz Group is violating Germany’s global supply chain practices which prohibits German companies from disregarding workers’ rights to form trade unions.

In a written statement to media Wednesday the union claimed it, "faced fierce backlash from company management."

In the complaint filed in the U.S and Germany, UAW detailed seven violations, such as firing a union supporter for using a cellphone at work for a medical emergency and mandatory company events along with a letter from the CEO attempting to discourage workers from forming a union.

Representatives of the Biden Administration have met with German officials to discuss the union busting allegations.

The 6,000 Mercedes employees begin the union vote Monday and will conclude Friday with results expected that evening.

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