By on May 8, 2015


Volkswagen announced Thursday it would deny the UAW’s request to be the sole representative of the automaker’s Chattanooga, Tenn. plant.

Instead, VW would continue to work with both the UAW and rival organization American Council of Employees toward the goal of establishing a works council at its sole U.S. facility, Bloomberg reports.

While the company said meeting with both factions “has been a very effective way to start dialog with each of the groups,” UAW secretary-treasurer Gary Casteel proclaimed VW should recognize his union “as the bargaining agent,” adding “a works council can only exist with a union and VW has said their preferred union is the UAW.”

The UAW is said to represent 55 percent of hourly workers on the floor, while ACE has between 15 to 30 percent of hourly and salaried employees.

[Photo credit: Volkswagen]

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15 Comments on “Volkswagen Denies UAW’s Request For Sole Representation...”

  • avatar

    How many times has UAW tried to take over VW’s US manufacturing? They should be glad they are even getting the opportunity for union representation. VW doesn’t seem to be the pushover that the Big 3 are, especially with knowledge of how the UAW operates.

  • avatar

    Chan, in the unlikely event that you wanted to know, look into the recent history of Chattanooga plant. You’ll find interference with UAW organizing efforts, arguably illegal, by Tennessee politicians bent on keeping the UAW out for political reasons. That interference included a thinly veiled threat to choke off future job growth at the plant if the workers chose the UAW as its representative. It was against this backdrop that the workers “freely chose” against the UAW, by a narrow margin.

    The UAW itself was far from the most questionable “operator” in this chain of events.

    • 0 avatar

      @Tonycd: I don’t doubt the right or the wisdom for labor to organize but any organization that represents labor should not have a monopoly. Unfortunately a UAW monopoly and mandatory membership doesn’t leave the UAW with much motivation to actually represent the workforce. Having to earn the workers dues and compete with other labor organizations is probably better for the workforce.

      • 0 avatar

        carguy, thanks for taking a reasonable tone.

        But the practical problem with “competition” in this case is that the whole concept of unions is that the workers derive their negotiating power from uniting into a single entity stronger than the individual parts. This is also why “right to work” sounds so innocent — why should I have to join a union just to be in a unionized workplace? — but in fact is the death knell of collective bargaining, because the workers lose that unbroken unity.

        And of course management knows that, which is why it’s gone to such extraordinary lengths to buy politicians like Sen. Corker, as well as the Mich/Wis/Ind/Oh Koch Brovernors who’ve imposed Right To Work in their respective states.

        • 0 avatar
          Dave M.

          tonycd, sorry but you’ve got it wrong. UAW had exclusive and exclusionary access to the employees and still couldn’t pull it off. If there had been another option for representation on that ballot besides the UAW, it surely would have won.

          The UAW and their corrupt practices and politics are tainted and antiquated. Why are they so afraid of competition?

          Right-to-work for many of us means no hostage taking by a union of our pay and voice. Plain and simple.

          Again, why are they so afraid of competition?

          • 0 avatar

            Detroit is a monument to the UAW and their party. They took the richest US city and made it the poorest.

          • 0 avatar

            The Unions represent the workers against the capitalists. The Corporations exist to make money for their shareholders, the Unions exist to represent the laborers. Corporations will NEVER voluntarily provide a single benefit or raise if they are not challenged. For those who think Detroit is in the state its in because of Unions, keep drinking the Kool-Aid, and keep waiting for Santa Claus to marry the Easter Bunny. The Unions do not MAKE things. They are not the “Capital” part of the so called Free Market. They represent the Labor part. Both parties need to be healthy to make the economy grow. With Reagan dismantling the middle class, the power of Capital has been disproportional in the equation. When CAPITAL exited Detroit, as well as most other Norther cities, it wasn’t because labor costs were too high, it was because they found they col do it and keep the money in the shareholders pockets. Hence the outsourcing revolution and the $14.00 universal slave wage.

          • 0 avatar

            NAFTA, GATT, and the later WTO -all of which allowed for US mfg jobs to be exported- came into effect Jan 1 1994, Jan 1 1948, and Jan 1 1995 respectfully.



        • 0 avatar

          “Brovernors who’ve imposed Right To Work in their respective states.”

          How Orwellian. Mandatory union membership was what had been imposed. RTW reforms undid that and it seems workers like it. Sorta interferes w/ the mandatory collection of union dues and their transfer to the Dems.

        • 0 avatar

          “But the practical problem with “competition” in this case is that the whole concept of unions is that the workers derive their negotiating power from uniting into a single entity stronger than the individual parts. ”

          That, does not make sense.

          Who said one union would benefit the workers the most? In the worst case, what if the union boss is bought by the employer and receives kickbacks? Who is to counter that?

          Two or more unions could actually be better for the workers and they are in check of each other.

  • avatar

    How can the UAW claim to represent 55% of the workforce when they lost the last election?

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do think the UAW has wasted massive money that the existing rank and file payed into the UAW tax on workers.

    Instead of trying to expand, the UAW must fix existing problems it has with it’s current members.

    There is great disparity within the rank and file. The egalitarian union socialist paradigm doesn’t exist.

    The UAW has created a very class structured membership. Like all great socialist experiments, the aim of the Socialist movement was based on workers. Who benefits the most from the UAW? $10 ph American Axle workers living on food stamps? They have done well the UAW leadership.

    The UAW leaders have created an empire that isn’t a necessity for a company or worker to work within.

    The UAW will continue to falter until it atones it’s pre-existing problems of yore. But they are Luddites and live on the past with little scope to improve the future of the rank and file.

    UAW leaders place themselves first, the Union second and the rank and file last.

    Is this good for VW workers? Why would you want to invest money into this?

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