UAW Reports VW Workers at Tennessee Plant File for Union Election

Workers at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee have initiated unionization efforts by submitting a petition to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to conduct a vote on joining the United Auto Workers (UAW), announced on Monday.

The union highlighted that within just 100 days, a “supermajority” of Volkswagen employees had signed union cards, signaling a pivotal achievement in the UAW’s efforts to organize nonunionized auto plants in the United States.

Following prior unsuccessful endeavors, the UAW’s move to unionize foreign automakers in the U.S. continues with their recent petition at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee, marking another attempt to gain representation.

Notably, both Volkswagen and Nissan plants fell short of the necessary support for unionization.

UAW Reports VW Workers at Tennessee Plant File for Union Election
Chattanooga plant employees seek union representation following previous unsuccessful attempts. (Credits: Getty Images)

In 2019, Volkswagen workers at the Chattanooga, Tennessee, facility voted against union representation with a narrow margin of 833 to 776.

The Chattanooga plant stands as Volkswagen’s sole U.S. assembly plant, boasting a workforce of over 4,000 autoworkers who would qualify to vote for union representation.

Confirming receipt of the petition from the UAW, Volkswagen expressed its commitment to upholding its workers’ rights to a democratic process and organizing.

“In support of transparency and individual choice, we endorse an NLRB vote for every team member. The election schedule will be set by the NLRB. Volkswagen values Chattanooga’s working environment, offering competitive wages,” the company communicated via email.

According to Volkswagen, production workers at the plant earn hourly wages ranging from $23.40 to $32.40, with a four-year growth period to reach maximum wages.

UAW Reports VW Workers at Tennessee Plant File for Union Election
UAW aims to organize nonunion auto plants; VW is among 13 targeted automakers for unionization. (Credits: UAW)

Comparatively, Volkswagen’s hourly wages fall below those negotiated by the UAW last year with Detroit automakers, which currently range from approximately $25 to $36 per hour for production workers, including estimated cost-of-living adjustments (COLA).

Top wages under the UAW contracts are anticipated to exceed $42 per hour for production workers by the contracts’ conclusion.

Volkswagen is among the 13 nonunion automakers in the U.S. that the UAW has targeted for unionization efforts, following its successful negotiations with Detroit automakers last year.

This initiative involves nearly 150,000 autoworkers across multiple automakers such as BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Lucid, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Rivian, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo.

Sajda Parveen
Sajda Parveen
Sajda Praveen is a market expert. She has over 6 years of experience in the field and she shares her expertise with readers. You can reach out to her at [email protected]
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