The United Auto Workers, the union that is currently inking contact deals with the Detroit Three, has decided to have another go at gaining a foothold in the anti-union South, readying another election process at Volkswagen of America’s assembly facility in Tennessee.
The move will most likely draw the attention of anti-union forces, highly active in the South of America, where most foreign automakers have localized their US plants. UAW Local 42 on Monday filed paperwork with the National Labor Relations Board asking for the board to supervise a representation election for employees in the maintenance, or skilled trades, division of VW’ Chattanooga factory. The division is smaller than the overall unit the union called an election back in February 2014 that was lost in a close fight by 55 to 45 percent. “A key objective for our local union always has been, and still is, moving toward collective bargaining for the purpose of reaching a multi-year contract between Volkswagen and employees in Chattanooga,” comments Mike Cantrell, president of Local 42, a unit founded back in June last year.
Federal law allows separate units in an overall workforce to ask for recognition for the purpose of achieving collective bargaining, described by the NLRB as an effort “in good faith about wages, hours, vacation time, insurance, safety practices and other subjects.” As of December 2014 the Local 42 of the UAW achieved limited consideration under Volkswagen’s Community Organization Engagement policy – unique to the facility and allowing the local to schedule regular meetings with managers to discuss employee concerns.