Tennessee Volkswagen Workers File for Election to Join UAW

The plant becomes the first to file for a union election among the dozens of non-union plants where workers have been organizing.

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Volkswagen's Chattanooga, TN, workforce has filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board for a vote to join the UAW, after a supermajority of workers there signed union cards in just 100 days, amid growing concerns about job quality, safety and work-life balance.

“Today, we are one step closer to making a good job at Volkswagen into a great career,” said Isaac Meadows, a production team member in assembly. “Right now, we miss time with our families because so much of our paid time off is burned up during the summer and winter shutdowns. We shouldn’t have to choose between our family and our job. By winning our union and a real voice at Volkswagen, we can negotiate for more time with our families.”

“We are voting yes for our union because we want Volkswagen to be successful,” said Victor Vaughn, a logistics team member at VW. “Volkswagen has spent billions of dollars expanding in Chattanooga, but right now safety is a major issue in our plant. Just the other day, I was almost hit by four 500-plus pound crates while I was driving to deliver parts. That incident should’ve been followed up within the hour, but even after I clocked out no one asked me about it. VW has partnered with unionized workforces around the world to make their plants safe and successful. That’s why we’re voting for a voice at Volkswagen here in Chattanooga.”

“I come from a UAW family, so I’ve seen how having our union enables us to make life better on the job and off,” said Yolanda Peoples, a production team member in assembly. “We are a positive force in the plant. When we win our union, we’ll be able to bargain for a safer workplace, so people can stay on the job and the company can benefit from our experience. When my father retired as a UAW member, he had something to fall back on. VW workers deserve the same.”

This is the first non-union auto plant to file for a union election among the dozens of plants where workers have been organizing in recent months. The grassroots effort sprang up in the wake of the record victories for Big Three autoworkers in the UAW’s historic Stand Up Strike win.

The Chattanooga plant is Volkswagen’s only U.S. assembly plant and employs more than 4,000 autoworkers. It is the only Volkswagen plant globally with no form of employee representation.

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