HomeBusinessVoting ends for historic Tennessee Volkswagen union election - NPR

Voting ends for historic Tennessee Volkswagen union election – NPR

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The Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, just concluded three days of voting to determine whether workers will join the United Auto Workers union. This historic vote could shift the course of labor history in the South, potentially giving workers a stronger voice in negotiations for higher wages and better benefits. The outcome of this election will be pivotal, either bolstering the UAW’s strength or dealing a major blow to the union following last fall’s strike against the Big 3 automakers.

With the union needing a simple majority of votes to win, over 4,300 hourly workers were eligible to participate in this election. Many workers, like Kelcey Smith, voted in favor of unionizing in hopes of securing better financial stability for themselves and their families. The spotlight is on the Chattanooga plant, which previously saw unsuccessful attempts by the UAW to unionize in 2014 and 2019, signifying the significance of this current vote in shaping the future of labor relations in the region.

Despite warnings from Republican leaders and concerns from politicians about the potential loss of well-paying jobs if workers join the UAW, the union continues to focus on the South with substantial financial backing. The outcome of this vote not only impacts the Volkswagen plant but could also set a precedent for upcoming union elections at other manufacturing plants in the region, such as the Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama. Regardless of the result, this election marks a pivotal moment in Southern labor history.

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