Stakes sky high as VW’s Chattanooga workers vote on union

February 14, 2014

Stakes sky high as VW’s Chattanooga workers vote on union

One of the most monumental labor votes of the past few decades is underway about two hours away in Chattanooga.

By late tonight, about 1,550 Volkswagen employees will have cast their votes on whether to accept representation by the United Auto Workers labor union, which has nearly 400,000 active members.

Labor leaders say a “yes” vote is critical to the union’s long-term prospects. If successful, this would be the first victory for organized labor inside a foreign automaker’s U.S. operations.

But critics — some of whom have poured millions into anti-union efforts in recent weeks — say a “yes” vote will potentially harm the South’s ability to build a thriving auto industry. Many Tennessee politicians — including Gov. Bill Haslam and Sen. Bob Corker — have expressed grave concern about the UAW’s organizing efforts. Some have even raised the prospects of withholding future incentives from Volkswagen as it considers expanding in the state.

The automaker, for its part, has remained neutral, saying only that it wants to create a German-style works council that includes input from management and employees. It’s a structure used in its plants around the world. But in the U.S., workers must be represented by a union to create a council.

Whatever the outcome, it’s clear that many will be waiting for the National Labor Relation Board’s announcement of the vote tally sometime early next week.

— Lance Williams

Additional Facts

Login Status
You are not logged in.
Seniority Lists
Internal Job Postings
Recent Posts!
Bargaining Committee

Mike Herron
Tim Stannard
Gary Goforth
Mike Danford
Danny Taylor
Steve Roberts
Jay Minella
Steve Homrich
Chris Brown
Richie Griffith

1853 Officers

Tim Stannard
Mike Herron
Vice President
Darrell DeJean
Financial Secretary
Mark Wunderlin
Recording Secretary
Peggy Mullins
Trustee (3)
Jay Lowe
Dave Clements
Joe DiCataldo
Sgt. at Arms
Norman Jenks
Ken Buck
E-Board at Large (2)
Paul Taylor
Steve Roberts
GM Unit Chair
Mike Herron
Voith Unit Chair
Larry Heflin
Ryder Unit Chair
Patrick Linck
AFV Unit Chair
Neil Osborne
Retiree Chair
Mike Martinez

Get Text Alerts


*Standard text messaging rates may apply from your carrier