Bob King, United Auto Workers President told a German newspaper he is convinced the union will be represented in Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, by June.
King told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper in an interview that a clear majority of employees at the plant wanted to be represented by the UAW and they have signed a declaration of intent to that effect.
“We are also working well with the company. VW has been very fair in its dealings with us and wants its employees to have a voice,” King said, adding that the union was not putting pressure on employees at the plant to back the union.
The UAW has pushed VW to accept a German-style labor council at the plant in Chattanooga, which would require the involvement of the U.S. union under American labor law. VW said in September it was in talks with the UAW about establishing such a labor council at the plant, which would be a first for the U.S. union.
The UAW has lost membership over the past three decades because of increasing automation and job cutbacks by General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, The union wants to organize VW workers to gain a toehold in the U.S. south, where foreign automakers have non-union factories.
King, who is due to step down from his post as president in June, said his union was also working to represent workers at Daimler’s and BMW’s plants in the southern states of Alabama and South Carolina, as well as at plants of Japanese automaker Nissan, which opposes the union.
Via Automotive News Europe