Union election filed by Tennessee VW workers, announces UAW

Are Volkswagen Workers in Tennessee Unionizing?

Workers at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee have filed a petition to join the United Auto Workers union. This comes after a “supermajority of Volkswagen workers have signed union cards in just 100 days,” marking a significant milestone in the union’s efforts to organize nonunionized auto plants in the U.S.

The UAW has previously struggled to organize foreign-based automakers in the U.S., with past attempts at Volkswagen and Nissan plants falling short. In 2019, VW workers in Chattanooga rejected union representation in a close vote.

The Chattanooga plant is VW’s only U.S. assembly plant, employing over 4,000 autoworkers who would be eligible to vote for union representation. VW has confirmed receiving the petition and stated that it respects its workers’ right to organize.

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VW production workers at the plant earn between $23.40 and $32.40 per hour, with a four-year grow-in period to reach top wages. These hourly wages are lower than those negotiated by the UAW with Detroit automakers.

The UAW has set its sights on 13 nonunion automakers in the U.S. after securing record contracts with Detroit automakers last year. This organizing drive covers nearly 150,000 autoworkers across various manufacturers.

It will be interesting to see how the vote at the Chattanooga plant unfolds and what impact it may have on the broader landscape of auto industry labor relations. Stay tuned for updates on this developing story.

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