Chattanooga Volkswagen workers to vote on UAW next week

photo A Volkswagen employee prepares to install a back-up camera on a 2013 Passat at the Chattanooga plant.

Chattanooga Volkswagen workers will vote in an election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board on Feb. 12 to 14, the United Auto Workers announced today.

The Chattanooga workers will decide whether to approve union representation by the UAW for the plant's nearly 2,000 hourly workers. UAW is talking with Volkswagen about establishing a German-style works council in Chattanooga, which would be the first of its kind in the United States.

"Volkswagen is known globally for its system of cooperation with unions and works councils," said UAW President Bob King. "The UAW seeks to partner with Volkswagen and a works council to set a new standard in the U.S. for innovative labor-management relations that benefits the company, the entire workforce, shareholders and the community. The historic success of the works council model is in line with the UAW's successful partnerships with the domestic automakers and its vision of the 21st century union."

Meanwhile, Mark Mix, who heads the National Right to Work Foundation, said he's pleased that despite constant calls by UAW officials to be recognized as the workers' monopoly bargaining representative via card check recognition, Volkswagen workers will instead be given a chance to vote on the matter in a secret-ballot election.

"A secret-ballot election is what Foundation-assisted workers were asking for all along," he said in an email.

See more in Tuesday's Times Free Press.