Report: UAW, VW closer to agreement at Chattanooga plant

September 4, 2013

Report: UAW, VW closer to agreement at Chattanooga plant

Staff reports

German automaker Volkswagen could be closing in on an agreement with the United Auto Workers on the formation of an employee works council at the company’s assembly plant in Chattanooga,” alt=”” title=”” target=”_blank”>according to German newspaper Handlesblatt.

If successful, it would mark a major victory for organized labor at a foreign-owned auto plant in the South. The UAW has tried unsuccessfully to form unions at the Nissan plants in Smyrna and Canton, Miss., among others.

The VW plant in Chattanooga is one of the few for the company that does not have an employee works council. Under the German model, a works council gives workers more say on business issues and employee concerns. Workers are also given representation on the company’s supervisory board.

However, it’s unclear whether the model would be changed for a plant based in the United States.

The Handelsblatt business daily reported that UAW President Bob King and five other officials were at VW’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, to meet with the employee relations chief.

The newspaper cites “trustworthy circles” in saying that they discussed a German-style works council.

The UAW has been trying to organize the factory’s roughly 3,000 workers. King has said organizing plants of foreign-based automakers is crucial to the union’s survival.

VW spokesman Tony Cervone says VW is looking at ways to give workers a voice in plant operations. He says a decision on union representation would be up to the workers.

Messages were left Tuesday for a UAW spokeswoman.

Seniority Lists
Bargaining Committee

Mike Herron
Tim Stannard
Zone at Large – 1st
Danny Taylor
Zone at Large – 2nd
Mark Wilkerson
Joe McClure
Chad Poynor
Steve Roberts
Derek Lewis
Bill Cundiff
Kirk Zebbs
Don Numinen
Jay Minella
Danny Bragg
Chris Hill
Rashad Thomas
Keith Oswald
Chris Brown

1853 Officers

Tim Stannard
Mike Herron
Vice President
Darrell DeJean
Financial Secretary
Mark Wunderlin
Recording Secretary
Peggy Mullins
Trustee (3)
Jay Lowe
Dave Clements
Dave Spare
Sgt. at Arms
David C Spare
Ashley Holloway
E-Board at Large (2)
David Ryder
Steve Roberts

GM Unit Chair
Mike Herron
Leadec Unit Chair
Larry Poole
Ryder Unit Chair
Patrick Linck
AFV Unit Chair
Katherine McGaw
Retiree Chair
Mike Martinez