CAPA, Northwestern Face Off In Chicago: Kevin Trahan of the Detroit Free Press writes that yesterday, a National Labor Relations Board hearing officer heard arguments on whether football players at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois should be allowed to join a labor union.  The players, under the banner of the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA), are the first group of college athletes ever to undertake this effort.  The University’s attorney argued vigorously that the players were students first, while CAPA’s attorney countered that the players’ primary job was to play football.

A second hearing has been scheduled for February 18, where both sides will question Northwestern’s quarterback and other witnesses on their duties with the football team.  We will make sure to keep you posted as this issue continues to unfold.

Board Begins Hearing Against UPMC: Kris Mamula of the Pittsburgh Business Times writes yesterday, a trial in front of a National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge began, seeking to answer whether the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) breached a settlement agreement with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).  In particular, the National Labor Relations Board’s attorney is alleging that UPMC engaged in unlawful interrogation and surveillance of employees who were looking to organize at UPMC.

The hearing, set to last three weeks, will cover a total of 48 unfair labor practice charges.  The ALJ’s decision will likely render a few months after the hearing concludes.  We will keep you posted as the trial moves forward.

Senator Weighs In On VW Vote: Bernie Woodall of the Chicago Tribune writes that Tennessee Senator Bob Corker has publicly stated that Volkswagen will build its new SUV at the Chattanooga, TN plant if workers there vote against joining the United Auto Workers (UAW).  The vote began yesterday and runs through Friday.  

"I’ve had conversations today and based on those am assured that should the workers vote against the UAW, Volkswagen will announce in the coming weeks that it will manufacture its new mid-size SUV here in Chattanooga," said Corker, without saying with whom he had the conversations.

Interestingly, Corker’s statement runs counter to VW’s public statements on the matter, where they have explained that the UAW vote will have no bearing on where the automaker builds its next fleet of SUVs.  Regardless, we will keep you posted when the results of the vote come out. 

Please continue to follow us here at the blog, via Twitter (@LRToday), or via Flipboard for further developments.