No Labor Day Speeches in Chattanooga But Two Groups Eye Union at V-W
American labor unions have lost most of their membership and clout in the last 20 years.
But the drive to install the U-A-W at the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant is in overdrive.
Only about 3-percent of workers in the Chattanooga area are union members.
That’s one of the lowest numbers in Tennessee.
The United Auto Workers made an effort to organize the Volkswagen plant last February, and failed.
But instead of halting the organizing efforts as required by law, the union began enrolling employees and finally in July declared that Local 42 was in the plant and seeking recognition.
At the same time another group of workers began signing up members for the American Council for Employees.
GARY CASTEEL 7/10/14 UAW VICE PRESIDENT
MIKE BURTON 8/26/14 ACE, VOLKSWAGEN EMPLOYEE
<GARY CASTEEL "The election was something that we agreed to with Volkswagen. We thought we could do it in a very fair way..we found out that wasn’t possible. So now we’re going to go a different route."
MIKE BURTON "It’s never meant no to unions..it simply means the UAW is the only choice given to us and they simply don’t provide the services or the level of honesty that we need in an organization that will know every facet of our business. That’s where our concern came from." >
Volkswagen issued a statement on July 10th saying "…establishment of a local organization is a matter for the trade union concerned. There is no contract or other formal agreement with the UAW on this matter."
Tennessee is a right-to-work state, which means employees would not be forced to join a union even if one is recognized at the Enterprise South Volkswagen plant.