Volkswagen and the United Auto Workers union are now one step closer to achieving a deal that would see VW's plant in Chattanooga, TN become unionized. If it happens, it would be the first major victory in recent years for the UAW at a plant in the United States run by a foreign automaker. The UAW had formerly represented workers at VW's Westmoreland plant in Pennsylvania, which first opened in 1978 and is now closed. At present, the only non-Domestic facility in the States that is unionized is the Mitsubishi plant in Normal, IL.

While neither side is officially commenting, Automotive News Europe, citing a story in German newspaper Handelsblatt, reports that a meeting was held last Friday between plant officials and Bob King, president of the UAW. Negotiations are reportedly underway that would see a so-called German-style works council formed. This council would allow both blue-collar and white-collar employees to elect representatives that would have a say in any significant plant discussion.

VW's Chattanooga plant is the only facility the automaker operates in the whole world that isn't represented by a union of some sort, and US labor law apparently requires that an outside body, such as the UAW, be involved in any such negotiations. Horst Neumann, the board member for human resources at VW, said in March that "The UAW would be a natural partner," but that any deal would "depend on negotiations." It would seem those negotiations are now underway in earnest.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 77 Comments
      billfrombuckhead
      • 1 Year Ago
      Actually the plant gets no more new cars unless the workers vote in a worker council. VW has a strong union presence in management back in Germany. Globalization can work both ways.
        ROBERT W SELF
        • 1 Year Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        And where did you hear that, sounds like BS to me.
          jaydc1388
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ROBERT W SELF
          "Co-determination encourages open communication and involves all parties in joint decision-making through an entity called the “works council.” To be in compliance with U.S. labor law a union must be recognized before formation of a works council. Unions engage cooperatively with management to improve quality and efficiency and creatively address workplace problems. All other VW facilities worldwide have representation and belong to the VW Global Works Council. " http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2013/jul/14/works-council-crucial-success-growth-vw-here/ you're welcome
          Jerry
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ROBERT W SELF
          If you know anyone who works for or with German companies, they can vouch for this.
      sp33dklz
      • 1 Year Ago
      And we're now witnessing the demise of VW in the US.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Scott
      • 1 Year Ago
      "The UAW had formerly represented workers at VW's Westmoreland plant in Pennsylvania, which first opened in 1978 and is now closed" That says a lot. Prepare for the TN plant's demise as well.
        billfrombuckhead
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Scott
        I lived near the VW factory and dated someone in the accounting departments sister. VW Westmoreland's demise had more to with bad ex GM executives changing the nature of the cars byAmericanizing them but not building cars with trunks. If they made the Jetta there it might have worked better. Then there was competition from Japan and the Omni-Escort-Citiation
      Sergio Alvarado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hmmm, had a Dodge Intrepid (made by union workers) -- nothing but problems, had an engine with the known oil sludge problem that Daimler Chrysler refused to acknowledge... Now, on my 2nd Hyundai Sonata (made by non union workers, both were built in Alabama), nearly perfect cars, and excellent reliability. A 3rd Hyundai Sonata is definitely in my future. Why the hell would anyone buy a Jetta or Passat anyway? They look nearly identical to each other and can you say "bleh" styling?? It looks like it's new-for-1985!
        Jerry
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Sergio Alvarado
        LOL do you realize how strong the Korean unions are? Sure your car was built in the right to work south, but most Hyundais launch in Korea and then get handed off to the US a year or two into Korean production. Not sure if you realize that your Dodge had a shitty engine design that had no effect from who built it? How many Hyundais do you still see on the road from the same era as your ancient Dodge? Not many, because they were just as bad, if not worse than Dodge at the time.
        hsenpfeffer
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Sergio Alvarado
        Of course management gets credit and rewards for success but the workers get the blame for failure. The biggest problem however is the huge parasitic overburden of salestrash on the economy driving the price of everything sky high while contributing nothing.
        flilguy
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Sergio Alvarado
        How could a oil sludge problem be the fault of a union assembly worker? It sound like you or a service station may have mixed different brands of oil, used the wrong type of oil in your car, dealership or service station contamination, or the oil wasn't changed at the proper maintenance schedule. I personally don't like Dodge products, but you are passing the blame to the wrong party. Most Dodge Intrepids were made in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. It would be the parties that designed the engine, and serviced the car if you have a sludge issue.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @flilguy
          [blocked]
      superchan7
      • 1 Year Ago
      I thought Volkswagen wanted to improve quality in its cars.
      knightrider_6
      • 1 Year Ago
      Volkswagen is already on a downhill slope. Their cars are crappy, the sales are decreasing. They have already fired hundreds of people. VW will probably close shop and leave the US before this deal with UAW goes through.
        Georg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @knightrider_6
        VW is on the donhill slope? Wondering how they manage to make billions of profit if they are going downhill and still increasing production and sales world wide.... they hire more and more people around the world 1. half 2013 production +4.4% sales +4.9% employees +1.3% turn over +3.5% cash flow +24% investments +51% just to throw some hard facts against your ********
        ROBERT W SELF
        • 1 Year Ago
        @knightrider_6
        Are we talking about the TN plant? don't spread lies unless you can back them up.
        ROBERT W SELF
        • 1 Year Ago
        @knightrider_6
        If they were on the down hill slope, how were they able to already pay off the plant they just built in TN.?
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        ROBERT W SELF
        • 1 Year Ago
        Sad to say, most of them wants it, also remember, a work council is not a union, they won't have the same power.
      nocommie11
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nooooo, don't do it! The leaches will suck you dry! They've dragged one company after another into bankruptcy for decades, and infected many more that will go bust in decades to come.
        jaydc1388
        • 1 Year Ago
        @nocommie11
        Yes, if not for the unions the Citation, K-Car and Aztek would all have risen to the top of the automotive pantheon as the brilliant executives and design engineers intended.
      Guerro
      • 1 Year Ago
      I didn't realize working conditions were so horrible at the VW plant here. That is terrible what those people are being forced to do. I am definitely never buying a VW now. All the UAW sees in dollar signs. Leeches and criminals. Pathetic.
      IBx27
      • 1 Year Ago
      VW has enough problems with reliability; they don't need embarrassing build quality too.
      dexbusy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great idea! That way an efficient foreign car company can be dragged down into the abyss American car companies have fallen into as well. The UAW ( U Ain\'t Workin\') is a cancer on a healthy company. Its completely irrelevant in todays world.
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