Jonathan Browning

Jonathan Browning, Volkswagen North America CEO, has said that workers at the company's Chattanooga, Tennessee manufacturing facility will decide if they want union representation. Browning made the comment while speaking to reporters at the New York Auto Show, according to Reuters. Browning also made it clear that the United Auto Workers isn't the only option open to employees at the plant.

"If employees vote in favor of formal representation, then it's important to understand that there are a number of alternatives that may or may not include the UAW," Browning said.

Technically, the company hasn't scheduled a vote on unionization at the Chattanooga factory, but Browning says the company is in the early stages of discussions on the matter. The automaker's board has not discussed the topic in an official capacity.

If the workforce does decide to join the UAW, it would be the first foreign-owned plant to do so. The union has been courting plants owned by foreign automakers for years, but has never managed to sway workers.