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United Auto Workers withdraws objection to lost election at TN Volkswagen plant

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(Reuters) – The United Auto Workers union on Monday said it was withdrawing its objection claiming undue outside political interference in the result of a February election it lost among workers at the Volkswagen AG plant in Tennessee.

UAW President Bob King, in a statement issued by the union on Monday, said the process of objecting to the National Labor Relations Board could have dragged on for months if not years.

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King and the UAW announced the withdrawal on the morning of the scheduled start of an NLRB hearing in Chattanooga on the union’s objection.

The UAW has had no success in trying to get workers at automotive plants owned by foreign companies in the U.S. South to agree to join the union in an area where membership has fallen over the last several decades. Volkswagen officials agreed not to work against the UAW and allowed the union direct access to workers at the plant during work hours, a rarity by companies in a UAW organizing drive, which he union hoped would increase its chances of victory.

But in a Feb 12-14 election, workers voted 712-to-626 against allowing the UAW to represent them.

“The unprecedented political interference by Gov. (Bill) Haslam, Sen. (Bob) Corker and others was a distraction for Volkswagen employees and a detour from achieving Tennessee’s economic priorities,” King said. “The UAW is ready to put February’s tainted election in the rearview mirror and instead focus on advocating for new jobs and economic investment in Chattanooga.”

During the election campaign, Republican Gov. Haslam and other Tennessee politicians threatened to cut off financial incentives to Volkswagen if the UAW were installed as labor representative of the workers. Corker, a U.S. senator and former mayor of Chattanooga, claimed during the vote that VW would not place additional work at the plant if the UAW won the election.

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King said he would next try to take his case against what he called outside interference by politicians to Congress.

“The UAW will ask Congress to examine the use of federal funds in the state’s incentives threat, in order to protect Tennessee jobs and workers in the future,” the union statement said.

(Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Chizu Nomiyama)

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Andrew Cuomo threatens to bail on CNN interview when his brother shows vintage photo of governor in bellbottoms

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) appeared to feign anger during a CNN interview Wednesday in which his brother, Christopher Cuomo, showed a vintage photo of their family with the elder brother clad in bellbottoms, a rhinestone belt and an unfortunate attempt at an afro.

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Fox News hosts are going back to downplaying threat from coronavirus: report

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Major Fox News personalities like Sean Hannity spent weeks assuring viewers that the novel coronavirus wasn't a serious threat. In recent weeks, however, they have shifted to a different narrative, acknowledging that the virus is dangerous but giving President Donald Trump credit for taking action and criticizing Democrats' lack of action — even though many Democrats, in fact, warned the pubic first.

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The dangers of Trump TV: MSNBC host hammers Fox News as ‘genuine public health threat’ amid pandemic

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Tuesday night, Fox News decided that all anyone needed to do is to pump Americans with a Malaria drug and send them back to work to save President Donald Trump's economy.

Speaking Wednesday night, MSNBC host Chris Hayes bashed the conservative network for downplaying the seriousness of coronavirus, saying that they are "a genuine public health threat."

While Trump has advisers like Dr. Anthony Fauci, he also has the unofficial advisers he sees on Fox News.

They "are coalescing around the idea the whole thing is just overblown and we need to pump everyone full of the malaria drug and get them back to work. This is what you heard if you watch trump tv just last night," Hayes said. He then played clips illustrating exactly that, with hosts ranting and raving about the virus not being as serious as the flu.

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