UAW says VW won’t bargain with Tennessee workers image

The United Auto Workers announced that Volkswagen AG does not want to bargain with the skilled-trades workers from the manufacturer’s Tennessee plant after they voted the union representatives earlier in December.

According to a statement from the union, the UAW Local 42 filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board as the German carmaker refused to negotiate with the workers from the Chattanooga plant. Back on the 15th of December, the U.S. board approved the 108-44 vote submitted by the maintenance workers of the company.

Gary Casteel, the UAW’s secretary-treasurer and director, commented on the union’s efforts of organization that “We were hopeful that the company would accept the results and recommit to the principles of social responsibility that made Volkswagen a respected global brand.” He added that Volkswagen’s refusal “is not only doing a disservice to its employees but now is thumbing its nose at the federal government as well.”

On the 4th of December, more than 70% of a total of 161 skilled-trades workers from the Volkswagen plant voted to join the UAW. The plant has a number of 1,450 auto assembly workers employed there.

The union which is based in Detroit has been involved for a long while to represent all the hourly employees from the Chattanooga plant. In response, Volkswagen has claimed before that a bargaining unit made up of only maintenance workers is not suitable, saying that any group represented by a union should have both production and maintenance employees. In 2014, the UAW lost a representation election which included all of the factory’s hourly workers.

Jeannine Ginivan, spokeswoman for the German carmaker, did not comment on the topic.