Insights for the Labor Relations Professional


Three Times a Charm? UAW Files Third Election Petition to Represent VW Chattanooga Workers

By Allen Kinzer

On April 9, 2019, the UAW filed a third election petition with the NLRB to represent workers at Volkswagen’s manufacturing facility in Chattanooga.  With this new petition, the UAW seeks to represent about 1,700 production and maintenance workers at the VW facility.

In 2014, the UAW lost an election to represent the same VW group by a vote of 712 to 626. Following the defeat, the UAW filed a second petition to represent a micro-unit of about 165 skilled maintenance workers at the Chattanooga plant.  The UAW won the vote.  But, VW filed objections to the election and refused to bargain with the UAW.   The case has been sitting at the NLRB ever since.

Apparently, rather than wait for the NLRB to rule on the micro-unit issues, the UAW thought the time was right to try again for the whole VW production and maintenance group.  It’s challenging times for the UAW, however.  Just a few days before the UAW filed the third VW petition, the federal judge overseeing the criminal cases in the UAW’s corruption scandal wrote that the UAW’s Joint Training Center was a willing co-conspirator that colluded with Chrysler and the UAW to funnel money from Chrysler to UAW officers in exchange for major bargaining concessions. With former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell’s recent guilty plea, the total number of those UAW and Chrysler officials criminally convicted now stands at eight.

These criminal convictions have led to class action civil lawsuits by UAW members who got laid off as a result of the UAW’s negotiations with Chrysler.

Consequently, there is ample fodder for those in Chattanooga wanting to oppose the UAW’s new election attempt.


Insights for the Labor Relations Professional