The United Auto Workers union has recently announced it has asked German automaker VW AG for a new round of negotiations to discuss the possibility of the union becoming the exclusive collective representative for the workers at its sole US factory.
According to UAW Secretary-Treasurer Gary Casteel, the union has asked once more the officials at the automaker’s assembly facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee to discuss the possibility with the German company after a US labor officials filling showed the union had gathered the support of 55 percent of the plant’s hourly working staff. The US union last year lost a vote set up by the US National Labor Relations Board that would have made the UAW the sole representative of the plant’s workers. But later on the UAW started gaining access to the factory workers and company officials by gradually winning support from more staff – allowing it through a series of agreements to have limited representation for some of the workers. “There’s been lot of bumps in the road, but we think we’re getting to the point that it’s time to move to the full implementation and take this to the next level and put one in place for the first time in the U.S.,” recently commented Casteel.
While so far it hasn’t gained collective bargaining rights, the UAW still wants to implement the company’s German-style works council where both blue and white collar workers have representation – with the UAW official pointing out the sole US plant is the only VW AG factory in the world without such a council. VW commented on the matter by saying it had engaged in talks over the past months with both union and anti-union officials working at the plant and called the approach “very effective.”