UAW Advances Works Council Discussions with Volkswagen Group of America

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The UAW today released the following statement from Gary Casteel, secretary-treasurer of the UAW and head of the union’s transnational department, regarding the progress of UAW Local 42 at Volkswagen in Chattanooga:

“UAW Local 42, with advice and counsel from the International union, is advancing a German-style works council concept that we jointly developed with Volkswagen Group of America in January 2014. The original concept, agreed to by UAW and Volkswagen officials as part of a larger election agreement, outlined a framework through which the union and the company could together establish a path for management and employees to cooperate on matters inside the plant.

“A more detailed version of this concept, in the form of a proposed ‘Vision Statement,’ has been submitted to the company for its consideration. Volkswagen’s top labor officials, including Berthold Huber, acting chairman of the Volkswagen Supervisory Board, have noted that a works council can only exist under U.S. law with the involvement of a union — and they have said the union in Chattanooga should be the UAW. The Volkswagen Global Group Works Council, the influential organization of employee leaders from around the world, has expressed its desire for Chattanooga to be a ‘UAW-represented facility.’

“With UAW Local 42 now representing a clear majority of the blue-collar workforce in the Chattanooga plant, we believe the time has come to resume the works council talks that we began with management more than a year ago. We look forward to productive conversations with the company about the future of Volkswagen’s Chattanooga operations.”