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Volkswagen Grants Status to Second “Union”

Chattanooga plant gets new representation.

by on Feb.17, 2015

The American Council of Employees joined the UAW in gaining rights to represent workers at VW's plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Volkswagen AG is allowing an “anti-UAW” group to represent employees just like the UAW at its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The new organization is called the American Council of Employees (ACE) and now has the same access rights to represent workers as the UAW.

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The self-described alternative to the UAW claims it is a “truly local organization” with “no outside influence or political agenda.” The UAW attempted to organize the plant last year, but failed to garner enough votes to be the sole representative for all of the hourly workers at the facility.

Last fall, the UAW secured enough signatures to gain status as a representative body for the workers it signed up. However, the ACE segment began its own membership drive.

The results were certified by VW last week.

The objective of ACE, according to its website, is to “improve the general welfare of all VW-Chattanooga employees, foster mutual understanding and cooperation, improve the workmanship, quality and grade” of the plant’s products while developing “a higher degree of efficiency in their occupations.”

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The two factions will have different levels of access to the plant management, but neither can engage in collective bargaining discussions. With 45% of the plant’s workforce under its banner, the UAW has the highest level of access.

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The UAW will meet on a regular basis with the plant’s Executive Committee as well as Human Resources. The UAW also enjoys other undisclosed benefits. Both the UAW and ACE, with 15% of the workforce, can reserve and utilize on-site locations for meetings on non-work time with staff or employees; post announcements and information in company-designated areas; and meet monthly with Volkswagen Human Resources.

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While the rules for a single representative entity are pretty clear, VW says the labor representation policy was established to allow eligible organizations the “opportunity to engage in constructive dialogue with Volkswagen and its employees.”

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2 Responses to “Volkswagen Grants Status to Second “Union””

  1. Jorge says:

    This sounds like a recipe for disaster with multiple employee representation. It does however suggest that some changes are in need if two employee groups are vying for representation.

  2. Roger Sutton says:

    I’m all for it, I work for GM at lake Orion plant. I wish I had a choice of who represents me. I believe the UAW no longer represent the rank an file.