VW Establishes New Labor Organization Engagement Policy For Chattanooga Plant

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Without mentioning the United Auto Workers by name, Volkswagen established a new policy that would allow organized labor groups to hold meetings at its Chattanooga, Tenn. plant, as well as speak with executives.

Automotive News reports the Community Organization Engagement policy cannot be used to “claim or request recognition as the exclusive collective bargaining agent for any group of employees,” but does allow those groups three levels of access and dialogue with the plant’s top brass when a given group represents at least 15 percent of the employees.

The first level grants groups who represent 15 percent of the floor the right to hold a meeting once a month during non-work hours, along with monthly meetings with VW HR, and the ability to post announcements. The second level — 30 percent representation — allows groups to meet once a week, as well as invite non-employee group personnel to meet up once per month, and quarterly meetings with the Volkswagen Chattanooga Executive Committee. Finally, groups who represent 45 percent or more of the floor can reserve floor spaces “as reasonably needed,” meet with HR biweekly, and the executive committee monthly.

Eligibility for any of the tiers includes adhering to the standards set by the National Labor Relations Board, with membership rolls evaluated by a third party twice per year.

UAW treasurer Gary Casteel said his union would soon meet with VW officials to “remind them” of the commitments made between the union and the automaker earlier this year in Germany, as well as offering to help verify the roll for UAW Local 42, which claims to have more than a majority of the plant’s 3,200-plus workers.

Meanwhile, American Council of Employees interim president Sean Moss applauded the policy, proclaiming Volkswagen had “officially recognized the need for a local group that puts the needs and interests of its members ahead of outside political forces,” and ensures groups aside from the UAW have a say in how the plant will be organized.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Rday Rday on Nov 13, 2014

    these German Idiots deserve to be stuck with the UAW greedy pederasts. Just proves that the Japanese are much smarter and have a much better head on their shoulders. As Francoise Michelin once said...any company that has the [UAW] union deserves to have the union. Also proves that the Germans are just as hard headed and ignorant as they were during the war. They will apparently always snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

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    • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on Dec 09, 2014

      @bimmermax VW for most of its history was anything but a provider of luxury autos. Nor was BMW. As others posted 'the Germans played ball with their workers'. Due to class warfare in the UK the unions and management spent more time fighting each other than concentrating on their business. Happily Japanese managerial techniques and organizational structure have largely overcome this class bias. As for Opel, it unfortunately is tainted by GM's organizational culture and transplants from other countries.

  • Roader Roader on Nov 13, 2014

    It doesn't really matter what VW does: "Tennessee Code Annotated §50-1-201 et seq. states that it is unlawful for any employer or organization of any kind: 1. To deny or attempt to deny employment to any person by reason of the person’s membership in, affiliation with, resignation from or refusal to join or affiliate with any labor union or employee organization of any kind. 2. To enter into any contract, combination or agreement, written or oral, providing for exclusion from employment of any person because of membership in, affiliation with, resignation from or refusal to join or affiliate with any labor union or employee organization of any kind. 3. To exclude from employment an person by reason of the person’s payment of or failure to pay dues, fees, assessments or other charges to any labor union or employee organization of any kind. 4. Operating in this state to execute an agreement with a union or employee organization of any kind that includes a maintenance of membership clause prohibiting employees for withdrawing from a labor union or employee organization prior to the agreement’s expiration. This section shall not apply to a city, town, municipality or county including a county having a metropolitan form of government. An employer or organization of any kind violating any of the provisions of this part commits a Class A misdemeanor."

  • CKNSLS Sierra SLT Let me get this straight-It's OK for GM to make cars in China and ship them here-under a Buick name. But for the Chinese to directly do it is not OK.If the Big 3 had not a deserted sedans/low end of the market they wouldn't have anything to worry about.Yea...makes perfect sense.
  • Analoggrotto This must look great in your Tellurides
  • Dukeisduke Meanwhile in the EU, they're inviting Chinese manufacturers to build assembly plants there, especially in Italy. FIAT cut back production in Italy from one million vehicles a year, to 750,000, so the Italian government wants the Chinese plants for the jobs they'll create. They've contacted BYD about building a plant, but so far, BYD has only committed to building a plant in Hungary. A second plant in the EU will depend on demand for vehicles.
  • Dukeisduke Huh, that photo looks like a coupe.I wonder how many of the of the original Tesla Roadsters are still on the road? I haven't seen one in years.
  • Dukeisduke L. S. Swap. Do it.