(WREG-TV) Local unions are firing back at U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander after he accused the National Labor Relations Board of being biased.
On Monday, the United Auto Workers dropped its appeal to the NLRB asking for a ruling on a recent vote to unionize at the new Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga.
The vote was narrowly defeated.
Sen. Alexander called the appeal a stunt.
"UAW's attempt to have a hearing today in Chattanooga was a political side show."
He said, even though the appeal was dropped, he thinks the NLRB is acting with bias lately, favoring the unions.
"The NLRB should be an empire, not an advocate," Alexander said.
However, local unions, like the Communications Workers of America, believe the NLRB is impartial, and that politicians only complain when they do not get their way.
CWA Local 3806 President Robert Santucci said, after years of having a nonfunctional NLRB, he is surprised by the senator's comments.
"I find it kind of ironic that now he's standing up and saying, 'I've got a problem with them,' when all these years, he didn't bother to say anything when we were asking to get a functioning board."
Alexander said he is going to introduce legislation later this year to correct the so-called bias he sees towards unions and their workers.
"It's tilted more than it ever has under the Obama administration, and I'd like to stop that tilt," he said. However, Santucci said if the process is not broken, there is no need to change it. "Win or lose... I believe in the process."
Employees at Volkswagen voted unionizing down, 712-626.
Leaked documents show the state tied a $300 million incentive offer for expanding the plant, which critics say encouraged it to be non-union.