Works council at VW Chattanooga still unlikely this year

Article by Anita Panait, on September 26, 2013

Volkswagen still needs to resolve some complex legal issues before it could set up works council for its workers in the U.S., according to the German carmaker’s officials. Sebastian Patta, human resources chief at the VW’s Chattanooga site in Tennessee, remarked to Reuters that discussions with United Auto Workers union are likely to continue into 2014, adding the unionization of VW Chattanooga is “a very sensitive subject.”

The VW site in Tennessee is the center of the bid of UAW leader Bob King to organize at foreign-owned US plants and boost its steadily dropping membership. Volkswagen earlier told workers at its Chattanooga site that it was holding talks with the UAW on representation. UAW disclosed last week that it had collected signed cards from a majority of the site’s 2,500 workers backing recognition.

Despite that, the carmaker has yet to decide whether to recognize UAW using just card count as basis or to push for a ballot vote on recognizing the union.

A Germany-based VW official involved in the talks said that granting recognition on the basis of the card count is "not a priority." US operations boss Jonathan Browning remarked earlier this month that talks with UAW "may or may not conclude with formal third-party representation" that would ultimately depend on a full vote.

Topics: vw

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