UAW Might Represent VW’s Workers in the US image

The UAW union might get soon the approval to represent VW’s workers at the Chattanooga plant, Tennessee.

Horst Neumann, VW’s board member in charge of human resources, said the German automaker was in discussions with the UAW about creating a German-style labor plan at its plant in Tennessee. UAW President Bob King said it is crucial for the union’s survival to organize US plant for foreign automakers and welcomed Neumann’s proposed system.

“The UAW is very interested in the specific model that VW wants to present in the months ahead, and we are looking forward to open, fair and respectful dialogue, and cooperation with VW as we have expressed in our vision of the 21st century UAW,” he said in a statement.

Neumann added that by May or June the automaker will present a plan for the works council labor board and that VW will begin formal talks with the UAW in the second half of the year if it gets the managing board’s approval. VW opened the Tennessee plant in 2011, where it manufactures the Passat sedan. If the UAW manages to strike a deal with VW it could open the door to possible future deal with Mercedes too.

“This truly represents a breakthrough if it takes place,” said Harley Shaiken, a University of California-Berkeley labor studies professor.