Auto union is talking with VW about US plant


DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union confirmed Friday that it’s in talks with Volkswagen about representing workers a factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The union said its representatives met with VW officials last week in Wolfsburg, Germany, to discuss a German-style “works council” at the plant as well as full UAW representation. A works council would give workers a say in plant operations.

Currently, only one U.S. plant owned by foreign automakers has UAW representation, a Mitsubishi factory in Normal, Illinois, with about 1,000 workers. The union has been trying for years to organize other plants, which mainly are in southern states.

The prospect of UAW representation in Chattanooga concerns Southern Republicans, who fear a UAW foothold in the region will allow it to recruit workers at other auto plants.

Volkswagen managers told workers about the talks in a letter on Thursday. Any union representation would require a vote of the plant’s roughly 2,000 full-time blue-collar workers who make the VW Passat midsize sedan.

Jonathan Browning, Volkswagen’s Americas CEO, said Wednesday that labor questions will be left to plant workers. “It may or may not result in third-party representation,” he said.

In its statement, the UAW said VW has experience with union representation. “The UAW believes the role of a union in the 21st Century is to create an environment where both the company and workers succeed,” the statement said.

The UAW, faced with shrinking employment rolls at General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, has repeatedly said it’s going to redouble its efforts at non-unionized plants operated by foreign-based firms in the South, generally hostile turf for unions. The companies have fended off the union by offering competitive wages and benefits.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Moraine-based wholesaler celebrates growth, new office
Moraine-based wholesaler celebrates growth, new office

Moraine-based Winsupply Inc., one of the largest distributors in the nation, has opened a new Winsupply company in Franklin, Tenn., its fifth new company of 2017. Winsupply of Franklin will serve plumbing contractors in one of the fastest growing markets in the United States, and throughout greater Nashville, the company said Friday. RELATED: ...
Dozens of Joe's Crab Shack restaurants abruptly close
Dozens of Joe's Crab Shack restaurants abruptly close

Dozens of Joe’s Crab Shack locations across the United States abruptly closed without warning amidst its parent company’s bankruptcy proceedings. Calls to a location in Duluth, Georgia, went unanswered Thursday afternoon, and restaurant review site Yelp deemed it closed based on user feedback. The Gwinnett site is also not listed on...
Wright State gets grant for opioid addiction training
Wright State gets grant for opioid addiction training

An $80,000 federal grant will help train local phyisicians on medically assisted treatment of opioid addiction. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was awarded it to the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, along with a $499,095 grant toward the school’s primary care curriculum. The one-year supplemental grant toward...
Major electricity transmission lines approved in Clark County
Major electricity transmission lines approved in Clark County

The Ohio Power Siting Board has approved construction of separate, new transmission line projects in Clark County. Information from the siting board shows American Transmission Systems Inc. will build the East Springfield-Tangy Loop to Broadview Substation project, a new 138 kilavolt transmission line connecting the existing East Springfield-Tangy...
Closing date set for local Gander Mountain store
Closing date set for local Gander Mountain store

Gander Mountain in Huber Heights is set to close on Aug. 27. The company announced in early June that the store, located at 8001 Old Troy Pike in Huber Heights, would close permanently. The sporting goods and outdoor retailer filed for bankruptcy in March, and was acquired by Camping World Holdings Inc. in April. Camping World & Good Sam family announced...
More Stories