Earlier this month, Volkswagen appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., in an effort to overturn the NLRB’s decision upholding the UAW’s election win to represent about 165 skilled maintenance workers within VW’s Chattanooga plant.
VW contends that the UAW should not be permitted to represent a small segment of the production and maintenance workers within a plant of about 1,800. The NLRB has consistently ruled in the UAW’s favor, first by allowing the election within such a small segment of the whole plant and then by ruling that VW has refused to bargain with the UAW over the wages, hours and working conditions of the 165 maintenance workers. The NLRB’s order that VW must bargain with the UAW gave VW the right to appeal. And, now the dispute has reached the U.S Court of Appeals. The U.S. Court of Appeals will likely decide the case within the next 9 to 12 months.
In addition to its appeal, VW also announced that it would no longer recognize the American Council of Employees (ACE) under its Community Organization Engagement Policy. VW instituted the Policy to voluntarily recognize unions and other organizations as representatives of groups of employees. Once recognized by VW, the organization would have certain specified rights to meet with VW’s management and discuss plant issues. For an organization to be recognized under the Policy, it must represent at least 15 percent of the workers in the plant. According to VW, ACE no longer met the 15 percent threshold.
ACE was formed to counter the UAW during the UAW’s 2014 campaign to represent all of VW’s production and maintenance workers. UAW contends that it now represents a majority of the VW workers, but it has not yet filed for another secret ballot election with the NLRB.