The United Auto Workers' attempt to unionize Volkswagen's Chattanooga, TN, factory may be off the table for a while. Since shortly after workers there rejected organizing, the UAW has been appealing to the National Labor Relations Board for another vote citing interference. Now, the union has dropped its case with the NLRB.
The union claims it wants to help VW. The appeal process with the NLRB can be incredibly slow, and it would be "unfair to keep Volkswagen mired down in the appeals process, which could take years to complete," said Gary Casteel, the UAW's district director, to the Detroit Free Press. The sides have struck an agreement not to call for another election through the NLRB for at least a year. Casteel claims the two sides could hold a private election, but he isn't planning another vote "anytime soon."
The UAW's appeal with the NLRB has faced some setbacks. The board voted to allow anti-UAW employees at the factory the right to defend casting a ballot against the organizing. Also, a group called the National Right to Work Foundation filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of five workers against VW and the UAW for allegedly working together to unionize the plant. The organization claimed the automaker forced workers to attend pro-union meetings.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the goal at the factory now is to work out a tax incentive plan with the state to build a midsize SUV, likely a production version of the CrossBlue concept. The Tennessee government reportedly offered VW $300 million to build the truck in Chattanooga but later rescinded the offer because of the union vote.