published Friday, June 6th, 2014

UAW union changing tactics to organize Chattanooga VW plant

The newly elected United Auto Workers secretary-treasurer said Thursday that the union is changing its strategy on how to organize workers at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga factory as well as at auto assembly plants in Alabama and Mississippi.

According to Reuters, Gary Casteel, who led unsuccessful unionizing efforts at the Chattanooga plant earlier this year, said the union will continue to have active organizing efforts at VW and at the Mercedes plant in Alabama and a Nissan factory in Mississippi.

Casteel said the strategy shift is a reaction to anti-union groups and Republican politicians, who worked against the UAW effort in Chattanooga.

“The things that we were doing last year don’t work because of this dynamic that you didn’t have to deal with” in the past, Casteel told Reuters. “So, we’re re-evaluating where we’re at with all of them.”

At the UAW convention this week in Detroit, Frank Patta, general secretary of the Volkswagen AG global works council, vowed that the effort to organize Chattanooga workers would continue.

The UAW said it will announce as soon as next week a plan to organize workers at the Mercedes plant in Vance, Ala.

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