Between February 12-14, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) took part in a secret ballot election to determine the bargaining representation at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant in Tennessee. Following the voting, Volkswagen announced that employees elected against United Auto Workers (UAW) representation.
According to VW, participation in the election was 89 percent, and 53 percent of the eligible employees who voted decided against the UAW as their bargaining representative.
Currently, the Chattanooga plant produces a single model — the American-market Volkswagen Passat, which differs from the model sold elsewhere in the world (such as in Europe), but is identical to the Passat sold in China. It is believed that in the future, the plant will produce VW’s upcoming midsize crossover, which was officially green-lit for production this past January.
“On behalf of Volkswagen Group of America, I want to thank all of our Chattanooga production and maintenance employees for their participation in this week’s vote. They have spoken, and Volkswagen will respect the decision of the majority,” said Frank Fischer, CEO and Chairman of Volkswagen Chattanooga. “The election results remain to be certified by the NLRB,” Fischer, said.
“Our employees have not made a decision that they are against a works council. Throughout this process, we found great enthusiasm for the idea of an American-style works council both inside and outside our plant,” Fischer noted. “Our goal continues to be to determine the best method for establishing a works council in accordance with the requirements of U.S. labor law to meet VW America’s production needs and serve our employees’ interests,” Fischer said.
“While there was intense outside interest in this election, our managers and employees inside the plant maintained high quality production and continued to work together in a calm and respectful manner”, said Sebastian Patta, Vice President for Human Resources.
“Our commitment to Tennessee is a long term investment. We look forward to continuing to work with the State of Tennessee and the City of Chattanooga to support job creation, growth, and economic development today and into the future,” Fischer added.