By on April 10, 2020

Chattanooga Factory Volkswagen Neighborhood Talent Pipeline

Volkswagen is furloughing around 1,500 assembly workers in Chattanooga, TN. Production is being idled on account of the coronavirus, making VW just one of many brands enacting a temporary shutdown. While the number of employees affected varies between reports, VW-Chattanooga spokeswoman Amanda Plecas said around 2,500 employees will be furloughed on April 11th. The downtime is expected to last roughly four weeks.

“Our primary objective is to protect the financial health of Volkswagen for the benefit of our team as we address the emerging and ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on our industry,” Tom du Plessis, president and CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga, said in a statement. “Right now we have limited visibility on when we will be able to resume production, but we are committed to doing everything we can to preserve jobs. During this time we will be intensely focused on preparing to reopen in a responsible way, ensuring our team has the opportunity to return to work safely and as quickly as practicable.”

According to the manufacturer, all furloughed employees will remain VW employees through the duration and will retain their original dates of hire and accrued paid time off. They’ll also be eligible for enhancement of unemployment benefits under the new CARES Act. That’s $600 per week in federal compensation via the $2 trillion stimulus package — plus any state benefits Tennessee has already established.

Most of the affected employees have already been unable to work due to the factory’s March 21st production stall. During that period they were entitled to full pay while a skeleton crew stayed on to sanitize the facility and prep it for when work resumes. Most of that effort was said to involve the installation of “sanitation areas” in high-traffic zones and some light maintenance while equipment is idle. Employees who can work remotely will continue doing so at their normal pay, but they will have to take a mandatory vacation day next week.

[Image: Volkswagen]

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11 Comments on “Volkswagen Furloughs Workers in Tennessee...”

  • avatar

    That picture offers an excellent view of the fabled sunroof drain tube (one of four) [snaking up the A-pillar and not yet clipped to the sunroof] often discussed in these pages. It makes a turn [the larger black tube] at the base of the A-pillar and continues down to the back of the driver-side front wheelwell [but in a ‘protected’ location].

    Study that picture and you’ll understand the possible failure modes (and thanks to everyone for the lessons of the past year).

  • avatar

    “Our primary objective is to protect the financial health of Volkswagen for the benefit of our team as we address the emerging and ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on our industry,”

    Ouch, I guess worker safety doesn’t count for much compared to the all mighty dollar. Which really begs the question: what sort of PR spokesperson would ever admit to putting profits over safety? I think I know someone who shouldn’t come back from that furlough.

  • avatar

    “the benefit of our team” means Team Deutschland not Team USA.

  • avatar

    Tom advertises that he is protecting his paycheck.
    Thank-you, Tom.
    I will look at other manufacturers for a real deal.

  • avatar

    just like American Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce that is decontented compared w/ the real thing (no malt vinegar, just cheap distilled white vinegar), American built VW’s lack the German elan, the farfegnugen

    and it seems the Germans never learn from that error

    • 0 avatar

      I remember Lea & Perrins tasting a lot better in my youth than it does today in my mid-60s. Perhaps we used to get the “real” stuff on these shores before the multinational penny pinchers took over the food industry. FWIW, I also recall the phrase “From the recipe of a nobleman in the county” that vanished from the label decades ago. Ah, for the good old days…

      And while I’m at it, get off my lawn, you disease-ridden whippersnappers!

      • 0 avatar

        we DID – the orange label

        we now get the tan one

        Heinz bought the company and dumbed L&P down for the US – outside the US they have malt vinegar, which is much of the flavor and it’s the orange label

        go on Amazon and you can order the real one at a substantial markup

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