Volkswagen AG’s top labor leader said he still mulls workers at the company’s plant in Tennessee to have German-style representation – which would require a US union representation.
Bernd Osterloh, the leader of VW’s global works council, said the hasn’t changed his mind about visiting workers at the facility to offer “clarification” on how a works council is involved in the company – which requires by law the involvement of a US trade union such as the United Auto Workers. The trip has not been scheduled yet, Osterloh added. A works council, in which both blue-collar and white-collar workers take part, is a key aspect of VW’s corporate model, he said.
“We started out with the goal to implement a works council at every (VW production) site in the world,” Osterloh said, adding that anything beyond that depends on talks among the parties. “We will now have to see how things work out.”
In Germany, a works council represents workers on work rules in the factories and some other dealings with the company, but the IG Metall union, of which Osterloh is a member, negotiates wages and benefits for them alone. Earlier this month, Osterloh expressed support towards the ongoing UAW efforts to represent VW Chattanooga workers.