UAW Tells Labor Department It Has 55% of Employees at Volkswagen Plant
The announcement brought a quick response from the state legislative delegation.
Despite continuing opposition from the American Council of Employees, the well-organized United Auto Workers Union is moving closer to gaining collective bargaining rights inside the expanding Volkswagen plant at Enterprise South.
The UAW says it has 55% of the estimated 1200 hourly employees—about 816 signed cards.
The Detroit-based union formed Local 42 inside the plant last year, although no dues are being collected.
Sean Moss, the leader of the other union at the plant, said the number is "unsubstantiated and in no way an official count."
Local leaders are against automatic recognition of a union.
SEN. "BO" WATSON "Our hope is that and continues to be that they will do it through the election process."
State legislators this session pushed through a 165-million dollar incentive for the company.
REP. GERALD MCCORMICK, HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER "We just approved a significant incentive package for them..for them to expand their plant..the tax-payers of Tennessee are investing a considerable amount of money in it."
SEN. "BO" WATSON, SENATE PRO-TEM "… and now, less than 10 days later, they’re announcing they want to do a card-check for all intents and purposes. And that’s exactly what we forecast was going to happen."
Volkswagen interim board chairman Berthold Huber is a former union leader. He has urged Chattanooga workers to join the "global family of solidarity."
All other V-W plants have been unionized.
Former Hamilton county mayor Claude Ramsey, was instrumental in bringing the plant to Chattanooga.
CLAUDE RAMSEY, FORMER COUNTY MAYOR "If the employees want to unionize…I’d rather they didn’t…but of they want to unionize and they vote it up..that’s up to them."
Anti-UAW forces within the plant defeated the union 712 to 626 in an election in February of 2014.