Volkswagen AG’s manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, could easily become the setting for a television soap opera, with the management, workers and the UAW locked in a “love” triangle.
In the first place, Volkswagen announced a while back that it aims to establish a works council at the factory – a management system that would include both white and blue-collar employees – mirroring the other VW factories in the world. Because the US law doesn’t allow such a form of representation unless it’s coming through a sanctioned union, the United Auto Workers union quickly stepped up and tried to fill that role. But a February election – lost with a slim majority by the UAW – was tainted with accusations of political intrusions and financial deterrents.
Now, the UAW found a new form of involvement – it formed in July the new Local 42 and claimed it had enough members to act as the union that would win exclusivity from VW when dealing with the US factory. As it looks like, the anti-UAW forces didn’t take the idea for granted and swiftly acted, as they are attempting now to establish their own counter-union, securing both hourly and salaried workers that oppose the United Auto Workers Local 42.