VW and UAW begin negotiations over Chattanooga plant, report says

VW and UAW begin negotiations over Chattanooga plant, report says

September 3rd, 2013 by Mike Pare in Local - Breaking News

New Volkswagen Passats are seen behind the Chattanooga assembly plant's building.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

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The United Auto Workers and Volkswagen have begun negotiations for a works council at the automaker's Chattanooga plant, according to a German newspaper.

Handelsblatt cited confidential talks at VW's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, saying UAW President Bob King had traveled with others in the union.

The newspaper said he spoke with VW personnel director Horst Neumann on the plans to establish a works council in Chattanooga and to unionize the plant. In the discussions, Volkswagen works council head Bernd Osterloh also participated.

Earlier this year, Neumann said it was talking with the UAW about the concept. Some experts have said that a works council would run afoul of U.S. labor law if no union is formally involved. The UAW has been seeking the signatures of the majority of VW workers in Chattanooga for authorization to represent them.

None of the parties would comment on the talks in Wolfsburg, the newspaper said. The parties agreed that that the company should first inform the more than 2,700 employees at the plant in Chattanooga this week.