Volkswagen Employees Take Sides As Union Election Nears

Edited by: Ashley Henderson

Reported by: Bill Mitchell
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Updated: 2/05 7:11 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) -- Now that Volkswagen has set a secret ballot union vote for next week, representatives from both sides of the issue are stepping up their efforts.
Supporters of the UAW are confident, while employees who started the anti-union campaign, feel that Volkswagen has not given them equal time to tell their story.

There's a lot riding on the outcome of next weeks UAW election at Volkswagen.
1600 hourly workers will decide if the Detroit-based auto workers group will represent them...and help set-up a Work's Council similar to those at other V-W plants.
The organizers say they have enough signed cards to prove union support.

ERIC DELACY, VOLKSWAGEN TEAM MEMBER "we have good benefits with the corporation but we don't actually have a real say in what goes on."

The UAW supporters are confident of victory.

ERIC DELACY "The real power of the union is many people with one voice."

If Volkswagen workers form a union, it would be a first for southern auto plants, and it may open the door for the UAW to other manufacturers below the Mason-Dixon line.
But opposition is strong at Enterprise South, with anti-union groups collecting some 600 signatures supporting their efforts. One of the leaders wonders if his group is getting a fair shake.

MIKE BURTON, NO2UAW "We're under a lot of pressure to get the word the employees and right now we're doing fliers at the turnstyles."

Burton formed a formal organization called Southern Momentum, but he was not allowed to speak during Tuesday meetings at the plant.

MIKE BURTON "They said now comes the voluntary part of the meeting ..Mr. Casteele will speak. And that's when about a hundredof us stood up and walked out."

Gary Casteel is the UAW representative.

Meanwhile, other V-W employees are taking a stand as the election approaches.

JOSH STOKES, V-W TEAM MEMBER "I'm thinking that we've managed to come as far as we have, produice as much as we have, ina short a time as we have...without a union."
SEAN MOSS, V-W TEAM MEMBER "Right now you've got to gauge it on the most vocal members, but there are..the silent majority right now, and they are that its put in front of them...they're coming out and they starting to ask the questions.

The secret ballot election at Volkswagen will be held on the 12th, 13th and 14th.
Although supporting the idea of a works council, the company is officially neutral in the UAW election.

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stucox23 - 2/5/2014 9:04 PM
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No, the company is not neutral AT ALL. When there is a yes or no vote, neutral would be a)letting both the YES party and the NO party speak to the employees or b)letting neither party speak to the employees. Instead, the YES party has been invited in to speak to the employees, given offices at the plant, and given all of the hourly employees home addresses! How is this neutral in any way?
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