QOTD: Will the Union's Volkswagen Victory Pave Way for More?

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, voted to unionize on Friday. But the UAW won't stop there.

According to Reuters, next up for the UAW is a mid-May vote to unionize at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama.

It might be a tougher fight for the union, since, as Reuters points out, Mercedes-Benz is being more anti-union than Volkswagen was. VW was pretty neutral, but MB is making anti-union arguments to its workers.

On the other hand, the results at VW were pretty decisively pro-union. That could provide momentum to the UAW as it pushes to unionize other non-union plants throughout the American South.

A CNN article published last fall after the UAW strike suggests that the union has targeted plants run 10 foreign and three American auto makers. The foreign automakers include BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Mazda, Mercedes, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo, while the three American companies are all EV startups: Lucid, Rivian, and Tesla.

That same article points out that Honda, Hyundai, Subaru, and Toyota did give their non-union labor raises after the UAW strike concluded. CNN also reported at the time that the UAW said it would be targeting 150,000 workers across 36 plants.

Even if the vote in Alabama doesn't go the UAW's way, we'd bet that they continue to push for unionization at non-union plants. That said, if they win in 'Bama, they may have an easier time succeeding in future fights.

What say you? Is Chattanooga a one-off or a harbinger of things to come? Or will the UAW's drive end up having mixed results?

As per usual when discussing this topic -- and all topics, really -- please play nice. Be civil. We're watching, and we won't hesitate to spike rule-breaking comments into the ether. Nor will we hesitate to drop the banhammer.

With that said, sound off below.

[Image: Jon Rehg/Shutterstock.com]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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3 of 20 comments
  • Wjtinfwb Wjtinfwb on Apr 23, 2024

    Tennessee is a Right to Work state. The UAW will have a bit less leverage there than in Michigan, which repealed R t W a couple years ago. And how much leverage will the UAW really have in Chattanooga. That plant builds ID. 4 and Atlas, neither of which are setting the world afire, sales wise. I'd have thought VW would have learned the UAW plays by different rules than the placid German unions from the Westmoreland PA debacle. But history has shown VW to be exceptionally slow learners. Watching with interest.

    • 1995 SC 1995 SC on Apr 24, 2024

      The meaningful fight will be with the Japanese and Korean plants.

  • CanadaCraig CanadaCraig on Apr 24, 2024

    To heck with the UAW. [Was that nice enough?]

  • FreedMike Needs MOOAAARRR POWER.
  • Mgh57 I should just buy an old car where everything is analog.
  • FreedMike You mean, the "Hellcat all the things" plan failed?
  • Fred I've only had it for about 7 months and I like it. Mostly because I have a hard time seeing my phone screen. So even tho my Honda's screen is 6" it's a lot easier to see than my phone.
  • Cha65697928 I'm 48. Both our cars have it, I'm never going back. Being able to activate calls, messages, music, nav, opening/closing garage doors all via voice command is awesome. Now if Audi would just allow Google maps to mirror in the middle of the driver's display instead of only allowing the native nav...