Volkswagen Sets Guidelines for UAW & ACE
But, the company will require the organizers to show they have support from a significant percentage of employees.
Legal experts comment on what effect that new policy could have on UAW organizing efforts.
The Volkswagen policy statement has been expected for for some time, but the exact wording surprised some.
UAW secretary-treasurer Gary Casteel says his organization has questions which will be taken up with VW.
But others welcomed the clarification of policy.
MAURY NICELY, ATTORNEY, AMERICAN COUNCIL OF EMPLOYEES ( IN 00:32) "This certainly is not a vindication of the UAW. This shows that Volkswagen’s interested in talking with other groups. This opens the door for all groups to have their voice heard."
Nicely represents the employee group that defeated the UAW’s organizing attempt last February.
They have since named their group ACE.
MIKE BURTON, MEMBER OF ACE "It wasn’t a statement that we don’t want a union. There is a need for an employee association and that’s what ACE is going to satisfy."
Attorney Jimmy Rogers represents labor organizations like the UAW.
JIMMY ROGERS, JR., LABOR ATTORNEY " If you’re going to take advantage of this policy and use it…you’re going to have to come forward and kinda put up or shut up. If you have enough support under this policy to qualify, then you can have access..you can use meeting rooms and things like that."
According to Volkswagen, an external auditor will verify membership in any organizing group.
But the National Right to Work organization, which helped anti-UAW employees hold off UAW in the February election , thinks there’s more to the statement than meets the eye.
ANTHONY RIEDEL, PRES., NAT’L RIGHT TO WORK "We’re not quite sure what the statement means. We do know that its likely to provide a mechanism for UAW officials to be in the plant …To communicate with employees them and give them access they wouldn’t have otherwise unless its an agreement with Volkswagen management."
Anthony Riedel told our Caitlyn Jones on SKYPE that he believes Volkswagen headquarters in Germany wants to see UAW as the bargaining agent in Chattanooga.
Both ACE and UAW claim to have a majority of workers supporting their cause.
In his statement, UAW leader Gary Casteel says he will remind Volkswagen of a commitment made to him in Germany last spring, that UAW will be selected as the bargaining agent for Chattanooga plant employees.