On October 23, the UAW filed an NLRB election petition to represent about 165 skilled maintenance workers at VW’s Chattanooga plant. This petition for a union vote comes 20 months after the UAW lost a union election to represent all of the production and maintenance workers at the VW facility.
Following the 2014 election loss, the UAW established a local union in Chattanooga to continue its efforts at convincing the VW workers to join the UAW. The UAW has claimed that 55 percent of the approximately 1,500 VW workers have joined, but the UAW seeks to represent only about 165 with this petition.
Thus, the UAW is attempting to gain a small foothold within the plant by petitioning for this small unit of skilled workers. However, by filing the election petition for a small unit, the UAW must not believe that it could win a plant-wide election.
Later this week, the Tennessee legislature is set to hold a hearing in Chattanooga about the status of the incentive package given to VW in light of VW’s diesel emissions scandal.
The next two weeks appear to be significant for VW’s facility in Chattanooga.