On the heels of an unfair labor practice charge that the United Auto Workers Local 42 filed in December 2015 alleging refusal to bargain at Volkswagen's plant in Chattanooga, the local has filed additional charges and threatens yet more. On February 9, the local filed two charges after Volkswagen terminated an employee who was taking photographs in the facility, apparently trying to provide documentation that the company discriminatorily enforced its "company-attire-only" policy. One allegation is that the "company-attire-only" policy unlawfully interferes with employees' rights to wear UAW insignia. Another is that the "no-photography" policy is unlawful and that the photographer-employee was unlawfully terminated. In comments provided to Bloomberg BNA, the UAW's Secretary-Treasurer indicated that the union was disappointed that the company was not bargaining with it and threatened that "more and more charges will accumulate and the company will further damage its relations with employees" if the company does not come to the bargaining table.
Based on published reports, Volkswagen apparently is denying at least some of the most recent allegations and is seeking an NLRB ruling that the maintenance worker bargaining unit is inappropriate for bargaining because the maintenance employees share an overwhelming community of interest with the other employees in a wall-to-wall unit at the Chattanooga plant. In February 2014, the UAW suffered a well-publicized defeat in an election in that wall-to-wall unit, even as press reports circulated that Volkswagen was cooperating with the UAW in its organizing effort