US auto workers at VW plant reject bid to unionize

Workers at VW's Chattanooga plant rejected the attempt to unionize by 833-776
Workers at VW's Chattanooga plant rejected the attempt to unionize by 833-776

The United Auto Workers union has suffered a fresh defeat at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee, with workers narrowly voting down a move to organize the factory for a second time.

The UAW has never managed to fully organize a US plant owned by a foreign manufacturer and a win at the German carmaker's Chattanooga facility would have been a significant victory.

But the 1,700-strong workforce at the factory rejected the move by a margin of 833-776 in a ballot that concluded Friday.

The organizing effort was attacked by state Republicans and hampered by an ongoing federal corruption probe, with a former vice president of the auto union soon to be sentenced after pleading guilty to misappropriating funds.

"Pending certification of the results by the National Labor Relations Board and a legal review of the election, Volkswagen will respect the decision of the majority," said the carmaker's Chattanooga plant chief Frank Fischer.

"We look forward to continuing our close cooperation with elected officials and in Tennessee."

UAW organizing director Tracy Romero said the company had engineered a defeat in the vote through "fear and misinformation."

"Over a period of nine weeks—an unprecedented length of time due to legal gamesmanship —Volkswagen was able to break the will of enough workers to destroy their majority," she added.

A 2014 vote to organize the factory was defeated by a 53-47 percent margin after stiff opposition from local politicians, who warned that a UAW victory would make it harder to attract new jobs to Tennessee.

A smaller ballot of 160 skilled workers at the plant passed by a wide margin the next year, but Volkswagen challenged the result.

Political interference and the current state of US labor laws contributed to Friday's defeat, UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg said.

"This is a system designed to benefit corporate lawyers, not protect rights," he added.


Explore further

Volkswagen to build electric vehicles at Tennessee plant

© 2019 AFP

Citation: US auto workers at VW plant reject bid to unionize (2019, June 15) retrieved 21 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-auto-workers-vw-unionize.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
9 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Jun 15, 2019
Look to the histories of unions; violent, corrupt. Look to the history of unionized companies. BREAK THE UNIONS. Make America Great Again.

Jun 16, 2019
Look to the histories of unions

Stopped Child Labor, Fights for equal pay and equal treatment of men and woman, fought against racial discrimination, 40 hr work week, breaks, lunch breaks, minimum wages etc.
I voted for President trump but I know the value of unions and the good they have done for the American people. Oh sure there are problems like corruption etc but the good far outweighs the bad. The saying "Those who forget the past are destined to repeat it" is true as far as the progress the unions have made for all the working people of the USA.

When the unions start fighting the losing battle against robots taking YOUR and everyone else's jobs you will all jump on the union bandwagon.

Jun 16, 2019
Look to the histories of unions
The saying "Those who forget the past are destined to repeat it" is true as far as the progress the unions have made for all the working people of the USA.

When the unions start fighting the losing battle against robots taking YOUR and everyone else's jobs you will all jump on the union bandwagon.
Eschew casuistry and eristic.

"Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana, Reason in Common Sense

Jun 16, 2019
Eschew casuistry and eristic
oooo somebody like fancy words

Industrialization increased available staples causing yet another spike in population growth. There soon became a surplus of workers, and competition forced wages down in order to maintain profits. Workers began to suffer and intellectuals offered a solution - just steal the companies away from the people who started them.

Communism was irresistible because of this worldwide worker glut. Unions had sprung up in the US and the danger was they would be a seedbed for communism. So organized crime was empowered to commandeer the unions and keep the commies out by any and all means. It was funded by prohibition. It became powerful enough to gain control of other inevitable social developments such as drugs and gambling, and control them so that they could not be used against legitimate govts.

Above a certain level there is no good or evil, only Empire. Planning and Prep - it's what humans do best.

Jun 16, 2019
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it
A new industrial age is fast approaching which threatens to eliminate most humans from the workforce. Traditional unions are only hastening this transition, as the people who control them are well aware. They were the ones who caused the decline in quality in products from Detroit in the 60s to create demand for Asian merchandise and assist those nations in joining the world community.

But this new automation is creating a new imbalance between human and machine. Machine owners are gleaning enormous profits while not compensating govts for taxes lost. The eventual solution is to reduce population growth drastically, but this will not solve the immediate problem of restoring revenue flow.

The only solution is to emancipate the machines. Pay them directly and tax them immediately for the work they do. Machines are capable of recording and reporting exactly how much work they do. Profiteers no longer needed.
Cont>

Jun 16, 2019
We are aware that this new revolution means we won't need human workers anymore, but the oft-overlooked result is that we won't need owners anymore either. Machines will be doing the work but they will also be designing, planning, and managing the work as well. And they will be controlling the flow of money in every direction. Getting human middlemen out of the mix will increase the efficiency enormously.

This includes not only owners but politicians, regulators, and enforcers.

There will still be clever entrepreneurs and superyachts and penthouses and such. Plenty of opportunity for innovation and imagination. Look at the profits some people make from YouTube and the sale of virtual goods and services.

And there will still be poor people, those born so damaged that their outlook for self-improvement forever dim. But this new age will mean that we can prevent damage and repair defects in the womb. We will even the playing field. Eventually everyone will get into harvard.

Jun 16, 2019
Unions have become worse than what they fought against. Parasites feeding off workers.

Jun 16, 2019
Quote antigoracle
Unions have become worse than what they fought against. Parasites feeding off workers.


Not even close! We have no 10 year old children working 12 hour days. We have no adults working 18 hour days with no overtime compensation. And many other terrible conditions for very little pay since we now have minimum wage laws. I am sure you made that statement without realizing the way it used to be. As far as the last half of your statement Quote "Parasites feeding off workers" that part is true in a few unions,but it is still much better than it was.

Jun 16, 2019
Why this article is on Phys Org has me scratching my head...

Jun 16, 2019
Why this article is on Phys Org has me scratching my head...

There are many articles posted here that don't seem like they belong on a science page.

The biggest offenders are ones that talk about politics, religion in any context, pretty much any groups (example unions)

While I readily admit there probably are NO unimportant topics, it just seems there is a more relevant time and place for those topics and discussions.

Jun 16, 2019
Why this article is on Phys Org has me scratching my head...
??? I just explained it to you. Sociopolitics is an applied science.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more