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Victory for VW Chattanooga workers joining together in union

Jeremy Sprinkle
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Company expected to lose on appeal

Volkswagen lost its case before the National Labor Relations Board this week challenging the right of VW maintenance workers at its Chattanooga, TN plant to join in union with UAW.

Board denies employer’s request for review of December election held at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga facility.

— NLRB (@NLRB) April 13, 2016

The NLRB ruling is a major victory for 164 workers, who won their union election with over 70 percent of the vote in December but with whom the company has refused to begin collective bargaining while it challenged the validity of the election, unsuccessfully.

From the Detroit Free Press:

“With today’s order, the NLRB has clearly stated that it views the skilled-trades election in Chattanooga as a legal and appropriate step toward meaningful employee representation,” UAW Secretary-Treasurer Gary Casteel said in a statement. “We hope Volkswagen’s new management team will accept the government’s decision."

The UAW has been trying to organize workers at Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant for several years and has made organizing automotive plants in the South one of its highest priorities. Volkswagen has refused to bargain with the UAW since December when a majority of Volkswagen maintenance workers voted in favor of UAW representation.

UAW Local 42 president Mike Cantrell says they're looking forward to bargaining:

The NLRB supervised a fair election at the plant and then promptly certified the results. We’re glad to see the decision upheld and we look forward to meeting Volkswagen at the collective bargaining table in the near future.

Click here to see a timeline of UAW Local 42.

Sources: NLRB rules UAW can organize group of VW workersVW Chattanooga workers win important victoryUAW APPLAUDS NLRB DECISION, URGES VOLKSWAGEN TO RESPECT FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S ORDER