A group of workers at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant is circulating a petition aimed at stopping the UAW’s attempt to organize the plant.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, paint shop employee Mike Burton, the man behind the petition, said
“We’ll report the percentage of team members who are with us. I have no doubt it will be over 50%,”
Burton is one of seven Chattanooga employees who launched a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board over the UAW’s “card check” process, where workers sign cards claiming that they want the UAW to represent them. However, this has been controversial, as some workers, including Burton, allege that the card process was misrepresented to them. They say that the cards were pitched as a way to get more information about the UAW, not a way to approve of the UAW representing them. Workers also reported that those who asked for their cars back were directed to a UAW office to recover them.
Labor representatives in Germany are pushing for Volkswagen to establish a works council at Chattanooga, however US law would require union representation for this to happen. Along with the United States Volkswagen plants in China and Russia do not have works councils at all, or in the case of Russia, they are not integrated with Volkswagen’s global labor organization.