published Monday, June 2nd, 2014

VW Works Council official says Chattanooga union effort not over

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    Signs from the UAW’s unsuccessful campaign in Chattanooga.
    Photo by Erin O. Smith.
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Is the union effort at VW Chattanooga over?

The general secretary of Volkswagen’s Global Group Works Council today vowed to help the United Auto Workers continue to organize workers at the automaker’s plant in Chattanooga.

“We lost one battle but we did not lose the entire fight …I promise, we will go on,” said Frank Patta to a standing ovation from delegates attending the 36th UAW Constitutional Convention in Detroit, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The UAW lost an election last February by 44 votes. The loss stunned the UAW because Volkswagen’s management agreed to be neutral in the election and even seemed to favor UAW representation.

Patta, whose brother Sebastian heads human resources at the Chattanooga plant, said union leaders in Germany remain committed to helping the UAW create a German-style works council in Chattanooga to represent VW workers.

“We want a works council, an American works council,” Patta said. “This is our joint vision. This is our dream.”

Patta repeated claims by UAW officials that the election in Chattanooga was “stolen,” from the workers, the Detroit newspaper said.

The UAW holds a convention every four years to elect new leaders. This week, President Bob King will retire. UAW Secretary-Treasurer Dennis Williams is the union’s nominee for president.

Williams told the Detroit Free Press last week that he is committed to continuing the organizing campaign in Chattanooga.

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