VW workers in Tennessee to vote on UAW representation

by Drew Johnson
VW workers in Tennessee to vote on UAW representation

The UAW is moving closer to its goal of organizing a transplant automaker.

Following an earlier report, Volkswagen has confirmed that it will allow workers at its Chattanooga plant to vote on joining the United Auto Workers union later this month.

VW announced on Monday that the National Labor Relations Board will hold an election at its Chattanooga plant on Feb. 12 - 14, 2014. Plant workers will be able to vote on whether they want to be represented by the UAW in a works council at the Chattanooga facility.

"Volkswagen is known globally for its system of cooperation with unions and works councils,” said UAW President Bob King. "The UAW seeks to partner with VWGOA and a works council to set a new standard in the U.S. for innovative labor-management relations that benefits the company, the entire workforce, shareholders and the community. The historic success of the works council model is in line with the UAW's successful partnerships with the domestic automakers and its vision of the 21st century union.”

The Chattanooga plant remains VW's only global facility without a works council. If approved, the works council would be the first of its kind in the United States.

The works council would give VW's Chattanooga plant a seat at the company's Global Group Works Council, which decides on issue ranging from job safety to where future vehicles will be made.

"With a local works council, workers would have a voice they can use to make Volkswagen stronger; in safety, job security and efficiency,” said Jonathan Walden, Volkswagen paint technician. "Global representation means Chattanooga workers may have a strong voice in seeking new products and bringing more jobs to Tennessee.”