Detroit Bureau on Twitter

UAW Files Labor Complaint Against VW

Union claims maker won't bargain in good faith.

by on Dec.23, 2015

The UAW finally gained a foothold in the South after VW's skilled trades group in Chattanooga voted to join the union.

The fight between the United Auto Workers and Volkswagen of America appears to have intensified as the UAW filed a complaint with the federal National Labor Relations Board against the German automaker.

The union claims that VW has failed to negotiate a new contract in good faith with the new bargaining unit for skilled tradesmen the UAW has carved out a VW’s new assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Union News!

VW officials said they could not comment on the situation because the company’s lawyers have not yet seen the complaint filed by UAW Local 42. The skilled tradesmen at the Chattanooga plant voted overwhelming at the beginning of December for union representation. It marked the first time that the union had succeed in organizing a group of workers at an auto plant in the Southern United States.

The automaker, while under pressure from the German metalworkers union, IG Metall, to accept the UAW, has resisted because it fears reprisals from the very conservative Tennessee political establishment, which is dead set against the union gaining a foothold with the state’s economy.

VW, which is also dealing with the disastrous fallout from the diesel-emission-cheating scandal, has asked the NLRB to set aside the results of the representation election. The company’s appeal maintains any bargaining unit should represent all of the employees at the Chattanooga plant.

The UAW said in a statement that Volkswagen Group of America is violating the National Labor Relations Act by refusing to enter into collective bargaining with skilled-trades employees at the company’s Chattanooga facility.

(VW appeals creation of new UAW unit at Chattanooga plant. For more, Click Here.)

“The NLRB determined that Volkswagen’s skilled-trades employees constitute an appropriate collective bargaining unit, then supervised a fair election, and then promptly certified the results,” said Gary Casteel, Secretary-Treasurer of the UAW and director of the union’s Transnational Department.

“Volkswagen’s skilled trades employees voted overwhelmingly to designate UAW Local 42 as their representative for the purposes of entering into collective bargaining, which is a very common practice between employees and employers.

“Following this month’s election, we were hopeful that the company would accept the results and recommit to the principles of social responsibility that made Volkswagen a respected global brand,” Castell added.

(Click Here for details about the UAW’s new foothold in VW’s plant in Tennessee.)

“Instead, Volkswagen has refused to come to the bargaining table in violation of federal law. By refusing to engage in collective bargaining after a successful election, Volkswagen is not only doing a disservice to its employees but now is thumbing its nose at the federal government as well.”

The plant’s been the eye of the storm for recent efforts by the UAW when it comes to organizing efforts in the Southeastern U.S. The union was narrowly rebuffed in a plant-wide election about 18 months ago that was marred, the union says, by the influence of Tennessee’s conservative politicians.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) led the charge against unionization publicly while state lawmakers suggested that it might pull tax incentives and other enticements for the plant’s expansion if employees voted in favor of UAW representation.

(To see more about NHTSA’s $40 million fine of BMW, Click Here.)

The UAW’s efforts even spawned an alternate union that garnered some support during the election and, along with the UAW, gained some status with VW’s management after the election. During the process, VW officials maintained they would remain neutral about the UAW.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “UAW Files Labor Complaint Against VW”

  1. GT101 says:

    VW is silly to oppose this deal. They need to negotiate in good faith. Once the skilled trades are represented, the rest of the VW employees will join the UAW and all will be well for VW and it’s employees in CHAT. The unscrupulous politicians in TN can go pound salt where the Sun don’t shine. They’d sell their mothers for tax revenue. They could care less about the citizens in TN or improving the standard of living for the working man.