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Volkswagen Appeals NLRB Ruling

UAW calls for maker to begin bargaining.

by on Sep.02, 2016

Volkswagen appealed the NLRB's ruling allowing the UAW to represent a portion of the hourly workers at the Chattanooga plant.

Volkswagen has elected to continue its fight with the United Auto Workers over recognizing the bargaining unit for maintenance workers at the German automaker’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The struggling automaker indicated it planned to appeal a decision this week by the National Labor Relations Board, ordering it to bargain with the United Auto Workers. The UAW won a representation election among the maintenance workers at the Chattanooga plant this past December.

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The UAW’s victory marked the first time the union had succeeded in cracking the solidly anti-union South. But so far, the Volkswagen Group has refused to bargain with the UAW, claiming any union in the plant should represent all of the employees.

The NLRB has found the company’s claim specious since a number of American courts have held that unions can represent only portion of the workers in a given workplace.

“As always, Volkswagen respects the right of all of our employees to decide the question of union representation. This is why we disagree with the decision to separate Volkswagen maintenance and production workers and will continue our effort to allow everyone to vote as one group on the matter of union representation,” Volkswagen said in a statement.

(UAW triumphs over VW with NLRB ruling. Click Here for the story.)

“We are disappointed that the NLRB declined to fully evaluate this important question. Therefore, Volkswagen has now filed an appeal to have this issue reviewed by the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit,” the company statement said.

The UAW said it was disappointed with the company’s decision and urged VW to open collective bargaining.

Gary Casteel, secretary-treasurer of the UAW and director of the International Union’s Transnational Department, said the appeal will not benefit Volkswagen employees at the Chattanooga plant.

(Click Here for more about the UAW securing promise from Clinton to rework NAFTA.)

“We’re disappointed that Volkswagen is continuing to thumb its nose at the federal government. The federal courts have consistently upheld the NLRB labor standard that enabled the skilled trades vote in Chattanooga,” Casteel said.

Casteel added Volkswagen’s refusal to comply with the law is especially troubling when IG Metall President Jorg Hofmann and other top German labor leaders have said it is not acceptable for the company to abide by the law at home but disregard it elsewhere in the world.

(To see more about the settlement between VW and its U.S. dealers, Click Here.)

“Volkswagen’s ill-advised appeal is nothing more than a stall tactic to try to delay the inevitable. It’s overdue time for the company to meet the local union at the bargaining table,” Casteel said in a statement.

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