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VW workers in Tennessee file petition to join UAW

Written by Ethan Bernard

Volkswagen employees at an assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., have filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to become part of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union.

This marks the first non-union auto plant to file for a union election among those where workers have been attempting to organize in recent months, UAW said on Monday.

A supermajority of Volkswagen workers at the plant have signed union cards in just 100 days, according to the union.

Recall that UAW president Shawn Fain outlined a plan for non-union auto workers to unionize. This followed the conclusion of the UAW strike with the “Big Three” Detroit-area automakers that resulted in new, and significantly more lucrative, labor contracts.

“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,” Yolanda Peoples, a production team member in assembly at Chattanooga, said in a statement.

A spokesman for Volkswagen Group of America said the company received notice today that the UAW has filed a petition with the NLRB to hold an election to determine representation at the Chattanooga plant.

“We respect our workers’ right to a democratic process and to determine who should represent their interests,” the spokesman told SMU in an email.

He said that VW fully supports an NLRB vote, “so every team member has a chance to vote in privacy in this important decision.”

The spokesman noted that the election timeline will be determined by the NLRB.

The plant in Chattanooga is Volkswagen’s only US assembly plant, employing more than 4,000 auto workers, UAW said.

The plant manufactures the Volkswagen ID.4, Atlas, and Atlas Cross Sport, according to Volkswagen’s website.

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