CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Gary Casteel, secretary-treasurer of the UAW, issued the following statement responding to Volkswagen’s announcement to add a new product line in Chattanooga:
“The UAW congratulates Volkswagen employees, the company, and the citizens of Chattanooga and Tennessee on the addition of a new product line. This announcement is a major vote of confidence in the Volkswagen workforce and the State of Tennessee, and it underscores the company’s consensus with the UAW to secure high-quality jobs for the future. We thank Governor Bill Haslam for extending the state and federal incentive funds necessary to make the economics work for the new product line. State officials assured the public and Volkswagen employees that the decision on incentives for Chattanooga would not be related to whether workers exercise their right to join a union, and they kept their promise.
“The UAW knew that withdrawing its objections to February’s tainted election, in consensus with Volkswagen, would expedite the company’s decision on the new product line. The fact that the new line is being announced four days after the rollout of UAW Local 42 in Chattanooga reinforces the consensus that the UAW has reached with the company. A cornerstone of Volkswagen’s business model is employee representation and participation in the company’s Global Group Works Council. Until now, Chattanooga has been the only plant not represented on the Global Group Works Council. With the formation of UAW Local 42, Volkswagen’s employees in Tennessee now can join their fellow team members from around the world in securing a voice in the workplace. The members of UAW Local 42 are excited about the future and stand ready to roll up their sleeves and make sure the new product line is a success.”
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