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HomeBusinessChattanooga VW Employees Urge Vote for Union Membership

Chattanooga VW Employees Urge Vote for Union Membership

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Volkswagen employees in Tennessee have taken a significant step in their efforts to join the United Automobile Workers (U.A.W.) by filing a petition with a federal agency requesting an election. This move, which follows a majority of eligible workers at the plant signing cards supporting the union, signals a key moment in the U.A.W.’s longstanding goal of organizing nonunion factories in the South. If successful, this election would mark the first test of the U.A.W.’s strength after recent strikes against major Detroit automakers.

Despite facing opposition in previous votes on unionization, Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga are determined to push for higher wages, increased time off, and improved safety measures by joining the U.A.W. The plant, which is the world’s only Volkswagen facility without union representation, produces popular vehicles like the Atlas SUV and the ID.4 electric car. The U.A.W. is also expected to garner support from the German labor union IG Metall, which holds significant influence on Volkswagen’s supervisory board. With recent successes in securing substantial wage increases for workers at Detroit automakers, the U.A.W. is hopeful for a positive outcome in Chattanooga.

The U.A.W.’s efforts to organize nonunion auto plants in the South have gained momentum, with campaigns also underway at Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai factories in Alabama. Despite right-to-work laws and lower wages prevalent in these regions, the U.A.W. remains committed to improving conditions and compensation for workers in the auto industry. With strong backing from legislators, the public, and the Biden administration, the U.A.W. aims to leverage its recent successes to establish a foothold in traditionally nonunion territories, ensuring fairer treatment and better benefits for workers across the board.

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