VW Chattanooga Workers Excited About Voting For UAW Representation February 12-14th

By Doug Cunningham

[Jonathan Walden]: “I’m excited. Almost to the point of being giddy. Just a relief and just anxious to get it done.”

Chattanooga Tennessee Volkswagon worker Jonathan Walden, reacting to the news that workers in the plant will vote February 12-14th on whether or not to join the United Auto Workers union. VW is neutral in the organizing effort. That’s important to Walden, who believes the union will win the NLRB supervised election. He says bringing the UAW into VW’s Tennessee plant will be good for workers, the company and the community. And workers at the plant can’t wait to get it done.

[Jonathan Walden]: “Oh I’m absolutely confident. I have no doubt. The biggest reason that I want the UAW to come in is so that we, as employees of Volkswagon Chattanooga, can fully participate in the Volkswagon system. It’s a system of co-determination where management and labor work together to address issues, come up with new ideas to innovate, just help the company move forward.”

UAW President Bob King says VW is known globally for its system of cooperation with unions and works councils and the UAW wants to partner with VW and a works council to set a new standard in the U.S. for innovative labor-management relations that benefits all involved. Works councils are used in Germany, but if the workers win and the UAW is authorized to represent them in Chattanooga, this would be the first works council in the U.S. King vowed when elected president of the UAW in 2010 to organize at least one of the foreign-owned auto plants in the south. Anti-union groups are worried that if workers at VW go UAW, other auto plants in the south will follow. Unlike many union organizing drives, this employer is not waging an anti-union campaign. And VW called on all third parties to honor the principle of neutrality.

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