Tags: volkswagen | UAW | tennessee | unions

Tenn. Volkswagen Plant Nudges Door Open to UAW

By    |   Tuesday, 09 Dec 2014 09:13 AM

Volkswagen of America announced that it would allow labor unions to have a greater say at the firm's Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant, a move seen as a blow to opponents of the United Autoworkers, Politico reported.

But Volkswagen is not granting unions collective bargaining privileges, Politico  said.

Unions will now be authorized to "raise questions, ideas, or concerns directly to Volkswagen management at any time," the company said. Union supporters will be able to lobby employees so long as they do not do so in work areas or on work time, The Daily Caller reported.

A vote by workers last winter on whether to unionize went down to defeat 712-626.

Tennessee Republicans including, Sen. Bob Corker and Gov. Bill Haslam, strongly oppose unionization at the plant, Politico reported.

Wednesday's Volkswagen announcement allows the UAW and the smaller, newly established American Council of Employees "to engage in constructive dialogue with Volkswagen and its employees." The ACE includes workers who voted against UAW representation at the plant.

The UAW said it had proven to the company that it represents 45 percent of workers at the plant, according to Automotive News.

A company statement said: "We recognize and accept that many of our employees are interested in external representation and we are putting this policy in place so that a constructive dialog is possible and available for everyone," according to Politico.

In a statement released by its president, Sean Moss, the American Council of Employees implied that there had been collusion between Volkswagen and the UAW "to undermine the voice of the majority of VW-Chattanooga employees," The Caller reported.

"The only time the workers got a vote they said no to the union," said Patrick Semmens of the National Right to Work Foundation. The UAW "very well may have enough signatures," but he questioned whether workers "knew what they were signing for," The Caller reported.

Under Tennessee law no worker can be forced to join a union.

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Volkswagen of America announced that it would allow labor unions to have a greater say — but not collective bargaining rights — at the firm's Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant, a move seen as a blow to opponents of the United Autoworkers, Politico reported.
volkswagen, UAW, tennessee, unions
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2014-13-09
Tuesday, 09 Dec 2014 09:13 AM
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