More drama in the ongoing Volkswagen unionization fight in Chattanooga: Volkswagen USA is not keen on the union, while Volkswagen’s management board is divided on the matter. One thing that seems certain is the prospect of a secret ballot vote on the union, according to Reuters.
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.
At the same time that the United Auto Works is trying to organize workers at Volkswagen’s Tennessee operations, using the model of German labor union IG Metall’s close relationship with the automaker in Germany, a number of workers at the Tennessee plant claim the UAW has used misleading tactics as it tries to organize the facility.
Volkswagen intends to sell a subcompact SUV in the United States by 2016 and there is a strong possibility that the vehicle will be assembled at VW’s Chattanooga, Tennessee facility. Marc Trahan, executive vice president of VW of America, told reporters at an Automotive Press Association event in Detroit, “Chattanooga is in the lead. We’ve made a significant investment in Chattanooga and it’s one that we want to have its full potential realized.”
This weekend was the end-of-summer graduation at Auburn, and like all such events, it brought an avalanche of rental cars to our Loveliest Village on the Plains™. Amidst the ubiquitous Chryslerbishis and engineering-excellence-cum-fleet-staple Camrys, I spotted a couple of newish Jettas and Passats wandering about town, crooked rental bar stickers applied with obvious indifference. I saw one particular rental Jetta sitting in the parking lot not far from the bookstore when I went to pick up some cut-price tomes. Coated in dust and wearing those ugly DUI-style New York plates, it was a forlorn sight. I couldn’t help but think of it as a reminder that the road to hell can be paved with tax breaks as often as it’s paved with good intentions; at least that’s the case if you happen to be governor of Tennessee.
As Volkswagen gears up for a decision on expanding their Chattanooga factory, a member of Volkswagen’s supervisory board told the Handlesblatt that any new product would be contingent on VW adopting a works council (explanation by our own veteran of Volkswagen BS here) for the plant.
News of Volkswagen being open to establishing a works council at its plant in Chattanooga are widely interpreted as the UAW getting a long-sought nose under the southern tent. It could also be a shrewd move to block the union. (Read More…)
According to VW USA’s CEO Jonathan Browning, America is missing out on huge investments and new jobs due to our “rising debt and political discord.” In 1999, the U.S. did attract 41 percent of all global foreign direct investment. Now, the number is less than 20 percent. The money is going to places like China where Volkswagen has 12 plants and three more on the way, while there is only one in the U.S. Browning is talking in code about several facts of post-bailout automotive life. (Read More…)
The UAW can write off organizing Volkswagen’s U.S. plant in Chattanooga. The effort has been damned by German unions. Volkswagen’s works council will explain to Chattanooga workers that there is no pressure from German unions for them to join the United Auto Workers union. With Reuters taking notes, Volkswagen works council chief Bernd Osterloh offered the most lukewarm support he can afford to give as a union brother: (Read More…)
With a meeting for Volkswagen’s supervisory board looming on Wednesday, a decision regarding Audi’s newest North American factory will likely be made. Two choices are available, but the key word seems to be North America.
A while ago, the UAW started passing out signature cards at Volkswagen’s factory in Chattanooga, TN. It looks like most landed in the garbage can. (Read More…)
In a surprise attack, the UAW has taken the first formal steps to unionize Volkswagen’s U.S. factory in Chattanooga. In what Reuters calls “an escalation of its effort to establish a foothold outside the Detroit automakers,” the UAW started passing out authorization cards for workers to sign. According to U.S. labor laws, the union needs signatures from at least 30 percent of the workers of a plant before a representation election can go ahead. The UAW’s timing could not have been worse. (Read More…)
The line at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant will run a little faster. It will produce 35 cars instead of 31 per hour. That also produces new jobs. In an emailed statement, VWoA announced today that 200 new permanent jobs will be created at its Tennessee plant. (Read More…)