Union chairman posts racial comments on Facebook - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Union chairman posts racial comments on Facebook

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

The chairman of UAW Local 838 is in hot water after comments he posted on his Facebook page that some say were racially charged.

Tim Niedert has been serving as chairman of the union for more than six years representing more than 4,000 workers many from John Deere.

This weekend more than 400 Deere workers across the Cedar Valley are dealing with layoffs, previously announced layoffs officially begin Monday.

However, a meeting held Saturday workers wanted Niedert to step down as chairman, but he refused.

"Tim's response to me was that I had a problem with the color of my skin," said John Deere worker Kriseda Young. "Clearly has a problem with Muslims, women, gays, black people, and he's entitled to that, but he needs to step down with those views."

One of the posts reads "It's Sunday, all my Muslim friends should start running now go 'Merica, lol" and had a meme attached to it.

Niedert also posted: "We can't pay for your kids and all the little brown kids being dropped off in our country too."

"Disheartening because we are getting laid off, and we should've been coming here talking about our jobs instead of talking about a racially divided," said Kelvin Zanders.

Zanders is one of the 462 John Deere workers laid off--so his last day was Friday.

He says the union meeting in Waterloo, wasn't their typical third Saturday of the month meeting.

Workers were asking Niedert to step down, but we're told he refused to and actually stood by his post.

"He's sorry people took things out of context, but it was his words, and when you say thing you have to be accountable when you're in a leadership position," said Zanders.

Since Neidert refused to step down, union workers have voted to have an investigation started at the union's international level.

Workers tell us it could be quite a while before that is completed.

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