published Monday, April 15th, 2013

UAW eyes Alabama Mercedes plant and VW in Chattanooga

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Alabama’s Mercedes-Benz plant has joined Chattanoooga’s Volkswagen factory as one that the United Auto Workers has its eye on organizing.

The Birmingham News reported that union materials are being distributed to employees at the Vance, Ala., plant.

Like the UAW’s Chattanooga efforts, the Alabama initiative is being supported by the German union IG Metall.

On a website, www.uawvance.org, the UAW says its vision for Mercedes is to "create a dynamic and unique local union in Tuscaloosa that becomes a model for labor relations in the 21st Century."

Horst Neumann, VW's board member in charge of human resources, has said the automaker was in talks with the UAW about setting up a German-style labor board at the Chattanooga plant that produces the Passat sedan.

Neumann has said the company may release a plan for the works council labor board in May or June, and formal talks with a union could begin in the second half of the year if VW's managing board approves.

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