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Chattanooga Volkswagen plant

A labor group at Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant today voiced concerns about this week's election involving the rival United Auto Workers, criticizing the UAW for not agreeing to include all blue-collar workers in the vote.

ACE President David Reed said the majority of VW Chattanooga employees agree that dividing the workforce into small sub-groups is incompatible with the company's "one team" philosophy and will have a negative impact on the quality and security of plant jobs.

"Unlike the UAW, ACE is focused on only one thing — maintaining high wages and a quality workplace for all Volkswagen team members," Reed said. "Breaking the workforce into smaller and smaller groups weakens employees and undermines everything we are trying to achieve."

In a letter posted throughout the plant and mailed directly to production workers, ACE presented a number of "unanswered" questions.

"What voice, if any, will other [UAW] Local 42 members have if the UAW becomes the exclusive representative of such a small number of employees?" the letter asked. It also asked what influence does German union IG Metall's partnership with UAW have, and how will its pledge to keep production jobs in Germany impact the plant.

About 164 VW maintenance workers are voting today and Friday on if they want the UAW to represent them for collective bargaining purposes.

A UAW spokesman had no immediate comment.

See more in Friday's Times Free Press.

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