UAW Tries New Approach at Chattanooga VW Plant

Jul 11, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — The United Auto Workers union announced this week that it has opened a union local office in Chattanooga.

Earlier this year the UAW suffered a stinging defeat when workers at the Volkswagen assembly plant there rejected union representation by a narrow margin.

The union initially tried to challenge the result, citing interference from Tennessee elected officials.

At a press conference called to announce the local’s opening, UAW Secretary-Treasurer Gary Casteel claimed the union now has VW’s tacit approval to try a different path toward worker representation.

"We’ve had an ongoing discussion with Volkswagen and have arrived at a consensus with the company. Upon UAW Local 42 signing up a meaningful portion of the Chattanooga workforce we’re confident the company will recognize Local 42 by dealing with its members as a member union.”

Casteel urged state officials to move ahead with plans to provide Volkswagen with the financial incentives the company says it needs to bring a second vehicle assembly line to Tennessee.

Editor's Note: Our thanks to WUTC Radio in Chattanooga for providing WMOT with audio of the UAW press conference.