VW Tennessee plant employees to vote on whether to join union

By David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Volkswagen AG and the United Auto Workers union confirmed on Wednesday that workers at the German automaker's Chattanooga, Tennessee, assembly will vote June 12-14 on whether to unionize.

Reuters May 30, 2019 00:05:18 IST
VW Tennessee plant employees to vote on whether to join union

VW Tennessee plant employees to vote on whether to join union

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Volkswagen AG and the United Auto Workers union confirmed on Wednesday that workers at the German automaker's Chattanooga, Tennessee, assembly will vote June 12-14 on whether to unionize.

The UAW had petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to set the dates for the election to represent about 1,700 trade and production workers at the plant, which builds cars and sport-utility vehicles. Workers at the plant in 2014 narrowly voted against unionizing in a blow to the UAW's efforts to organize U.S plants operated by foreign automakers.

VW has said it has taken a neutral position on whether the Tennessee workers should unionize.

Last week, Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Sherrod Brown of Ohio wrote Volkswagen Group of America expressing "deep concern with delays" to the vote after a dispute over whether VW should recognize a December 2015 vote of 160 skilled trade maintenance workers at the plant to unionize and affiliate with the UAW.

VW began production in 2011 at the plant, which builds the Passat car and the Atlas SUV. In January, VW said it was investing $800 million to build a new electric vehicle in Tennessee and add 1,000 jobs at the Chattanooga plant that will begin EV production in 2022.

UAW membership has plummeted 75 percent since 1979 and now stands at about 396,000. The UAW has failed for two decades to organize foreign automaker plants in the United States despite repeated efforts.

The UAW has never been able to win an organizing vote at a foreign-owned auto assembly plant in the U.S. South. A victory would give the union a stronger foothold in the region, where most foreign-owned auto plants are located.

The vote will come weeks before the UAW is to open contract talks with Detroit's Big Three automakers.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Dan Grebler)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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