Filed under: Sedan, Plants/Manufacturing, Volkswagen, UAW/Unions

Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant

For its part, the UAW is blaming "outside interference" for its defeat

In what is being characterized as a major blow to the United Auto Workers, workers at Volkswagen's plant in Chattanooga, TN have voted to reject union representation. The voting results - 712 opposed and 626 in favor - were released late Friday evening after a three-day secret ballot voting drive captured 89 percent of eligible workers. The results now go to the National Labor Relations Board for certification.

The UAW exerted a great deal of effort and money on the failed membership push in hopes that a successful campaign could trigger a wave of unionization at foreign auto factories popping up in the South from companies like Volkswagen, BMW, Honda, Kia, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota. The closely watched drive piqued the nation's interest, and as Automotive News points out, "the election attracted widespread attention from third-party union supporters and opponents."

AN also points out that the failed drive will make Chattanooga something of an "outlier" in VW's portfolio of plants, as the vast majority of them are unionized, with most relying on special works councils that represent employees in important business decisions.

At present, VW assembles its Passat midsize sedan at the facility, but Chattanooga has been known to be in the running for a second model, an as-yet-unnamed crossover which is expected to be based on the three-row Crossblue Concept. It is not immediately clear what the union loss will mean for the plant's chances at gaining this second vehicle, but earlier this week, Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee ruffled feathers when he proclaimed that he had received assurances from VW that the company would select Chattanooga as the manufacturing home of the new vehicle if workers spurned the union's overtures.

For its part, the UAW is blaming "outside interference" for its defeat, with UAW Region 8 Director Gary Casteel saying, "Unfortunately, politically motivated third parties threatened the economic future of this facility and the opportunity for workers to create a successful operating model that that would grow jobs in Tennessee."

Both the UAW and VW have released official statements on the results which you can read below.

Continue reading VW workers reject UAW representation in Chattanooga

VW workers reject UAW representation in Chattanooga originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 15 Feb 2014 00:06:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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