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VW Chattanooga workers win important victory

14 April, 2016Workers at Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga, USA, are a big step closer to collective bargaining representation, as the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rules to uphold the results of a democratic work place election in December 2015.

Workers at Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga, USA, have been struggling for years to win union representation, despite vicious opposition from anti-union politicians and big-money interest groups.

In December 2015, a section of 164 skilled trade workers at the plant in Chattanooga voted in favour for collective bargaining representation with IndustriALL Global Union affiliate United Auto Workers (UAW), winning the election by a majority of 71 per cent.

However, in total disregard of the results, the employer then asked the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to invalidate the election results.

But in a ruling on 13 April, the NLRB decided to uphold the results of the December election, clearly showing the need for Volkswagen in Chattanooga to respect the will of the workers and enter into collective bargaining negotiations.

IndustriALL general secretary Jyrki Raina says:

Volkswagen must accept the decision of the U.S. government, end its attempts to negate the will of these workers, and immediately begin negotiations in good faith to reach a fair and equitable collective bargaining agreement.

Mike Cantrell, president of UAW Local 42, says:

The NLRB supervised a fair election at the plant and then promptly certified the results. We’re glad to see the decision upheld and we look forward to meeting Volkswagen at the collective bargaining table in the near future,

The plant in Chattanooga is the only Volkswagen facility in the world that remains unrepresented on the Volkswagen Global Group Works Council, an influential body of employee leaders from around the world.