VW’s factory could set the pace for future unionized factories in the U.S. image

According to the president of the United Auto Workers, a successful stint to unionize workers at Volkswagen’s US assembly plant will buoy unionization campaigns at other foreign-owned factories.

The drive to set up a German-style works council at VW’s Chattanooga, Tennessee facility, under a consultation system better known as co-determination has brought a huge significance for both the UAW and its main opponents.

The UAW president, Bob King, said the union also has “tremendous worker support” at Nissan’s assembly plant in Canton, Mississippi and there is also a committee of workers seeking unionization at Daimler’s US factory in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

“We’ll figure out a process to have the UAW represent those workers and we’re very excited about the opportunity to take co-determination principles and works councils principles and put them into place in North America,” King said.

The setting up of a works council at VW’s facility would need under US law to be union recognized, making it the first big foreign-owned car plant in the US to allow the UAW in. Nearly all non US-owned car plants in the US are in southern “right-to-work” states that restrict union rights.

On the other hand, as we previously reported, Bill Haslam, Tennessee’s Republican governor, has appealed to VW to refuse the UAW recognition, claiming potential investors in Tennessee would fear union influence could threaten their businesses.

Via Financial Times