The fight for the Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant to create a works council is far from over, despite employees rejecting a bid to join the United Auto Workers on February 15. While the UAW is appealing the vote, labor leaders at VW's Tennessee factory are working on alternatives to create a council without UAW members, and some of the opposition to the union actually support the new plan, according to Automotive News.

By trying to join the UAW, the Chattanooga workers who supported organization had been attempting to clear the way for them to gain a seat on VW's Global Works Council which meets at VW's corporate headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany. There were two solutions: create their own union or join an existing one. Sitting on the Global Works Council is vital because it plays a role in determining future production location and labor rules, and Chattanooga is rare among VW factories because it is the only facility outside of China and Russia that does not operate under a works council. Within the Tennessee facility, a works council would would help blue- and white-collar workers to vote and negotiate on rules changes.

Provided any applicable legal hurdles can be cleared, representatives on both sides of the issue seem to see the council as a possibility. "We are committed to our goal of establishing a works council in Chattanooga," said Gunnar Kilian, secretary general of the VW Global Works Council, to Automotive News. Even US Senator Bob Corker, who was vehemently against unionization, reportedly only opposes the UAW in the plant, not necessarily a works council.

If the latest attempts are successful, it would be quite a compromise. Workers would get some measure of representation both locally and at VW headquarters, and Senator Corker could theoretically claim victory by keeping the UAW out of the factory.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 54 Comments
      wrestleprocbt
      • 9 Months Ago
      Why doens't the UAW just stay the hell out of there. Quit causing trouble and getting people to join so you can demand money and protect the lazy who make the rest of the workers that actually work and do a good job, look bad. Hows that working for Chrysler's parking lot pot smokers/drinkers ??? Great job UAW, see your workers are doing a fine job of getting drunk and high!
      Neez
      • 9 Months Ago
      I'm not against unions, but i am against the UAW. I think VW is starting to realize who they almost got into bed with.
        JohnM
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Neez
        We're not against unions. We're not against non-unions. But we are against those UAW thugs, thugs, thugs...
      xtabay1
      • 9 Months Ago
      Corker is the worst
      lendersmith
      • 9 Months Ago
      I could care less about Corker, - but a non UAW works council sounds like a good thing. Negotiating power without joining "The Mob".
      Matt
      • 9 Months Ago
      This was the obvious solution all along; all the benefits of labor organization, without the crooked UAW putting their fingers in the pie. The workers get representation without paying dues, and VW gets the labor model they like so much in Europe.Everyone wins (except the UAW, but they need to go away anyway).
      Jeff
      • 9 Months Ago
      As long as the UAW is NOT part of the Works Council, then seems like a reasonable item to put before the employees to see if they would like a more collaborative relationship with management to identify and resolve issues. But if the UAW is part of that solution, then this is a horrible, horrible idea.
        Neez
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Jeff
        That would actually make things worse, the UAW would simply continue pushing for pay increases, bonuses, and union dues goes up with those of course.
      carguy1701
      • 9 Months Ago
      Agree, sounds like a win-win for everyone, though I'm sure some people will oppose this simply because 'hurr durr unions r bad'.
      SooooRight
      • 9 Months Ago
      Sounds like you have been brainwashed by Bob King.
      Skicat
      • 9 Months Ago
      To have a seat on the Works Council, the TN VW workers have to have some type of organization. The seat does not represent the workers as individuals. In Germany, the workers are represented by IG Metall, a union, and they pay dues to run their organization. Just because the UAW may not represent the TN VW workers, don't think they will get representation "for free." They will have to organize in some manner, and that organization will have expenses, even if it is run by volunteers. There is no free lunch.
        Rob
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Skicat
        It's not about free, it's about the UAW using dues to pay union leaders huge salaries and make massive campaign contributions to politicians that a worker may or may not agree with all the while providing zero benefit to the workers that see their higher pay offset with said dues and massive job losses seen in any and every unionized state.
          thequebecerinfrance
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Rob
          The union leaders dont make huge salaries, management just want you to belive that so think about their immoral salaries.
          H2H
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Rob
          They do pretty well at $105K - $153K per year plus all living expenses, housing costs, travel expenses, fully paid insurance, and lifetime pensions.
          autoworker2014
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Rob
          Could you give me a link to where it says they cover all living expenses? I see some covered, such as moving expenses, but not all. We all get moving expenses if we have to move out of area. http://uaw.org/page/uaw-constitution-salaries
      NAIF S
      • 9 Months Ago
      Your own union? Great idea. Any union except the UAW? Great idea.
      pghcc2007
      • 9 Months Ago
      There has been multiple postings on this site about this issue with 100's of comments spewing as much venom (including mine) as possible at both sides, but i would like to ask Union/UAW supporters 2 questions in an attempt to generally understand them 1,) The three greatest threats to the American worker as I see them are outsourcing, and technological advancement leading to greater automation and entire industry's being made redundant. Unlike after the 30 years after WW2 when we were the only advanced nation not bombed into ruin or under the thumb of Marx with the worlds greatest education system, there are now 100's of million of people that can do the work of the unskilled and increasing even skilled American worker at substantially less cost and at the same quality. How will a Union counteract this? How will you stop outsourcing in a global economy with small to no barriers of entry and exit? And how will you counteract automation? Will you really try to tell private owners of private properties what kind of equipment and software that they can and cannot install and implement? 2.) In order to keep sightly ahead of the cost of living the average American worker should be making about 4-5 K more than they are now. How will liberal and union economic goals (Raising the top marginal rate to nearly half, taxing dividends and other such income the same as regular income and at nearly half again and instituting even more regulations and requirements on employers give the average American that additional 4-5 k?
      Tom Janowski
      • 9 Months Ago
      A "union" of worker at a specific place is a good thing. I dont see why VW worker would have to be part of UAW. UAW is just a big business that screws things up.
    • Load More Comments