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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The UAW today released the following statements reacting to the decision by the National Labor Relations board to order a representation election for skilled trades employees at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga facility despite the company’s efforts to block the election.

Gary Casteel, UAW secretary-treasurer and director of the union’s Transnational Department: “It’s unfortunate that, in the middle of Volkswagen’s widening emissions scandal, we had to spend weeks debating workers’ rights that clearly are protected under federal law. Volkswagen’s attempt to sidestep U.S. law was a waste of employees’ time and energy, and a waste of government resources. Looking ahead, our hope is that the company now will recommit to the values that made Volkswagen a great brand — environmental sustainability and true co-determination between management and employees. We have no doubt that Volkswagen can make a comeback in the U.S. and around the world, but the company needs to refocus on its core principles.”

Mike Cantrell, president, UAW Local 42: “We’re pleased that the NLRB upheld our members’ rights. We’re asking the company to respect the decision and not attempt to further interfere with the election for our skilled trades colleagues. As a union, our goal always has been — and still is — moving toward collective bargaining for the the purpose of reaching a multi-year contract between Volkswagen and employees in Chattanooga. There are multiple paths to collective bargaining, and this is a step in the right direction. We hope the company will support the same rights for employees in Chattanooga that are enjoyed by our Volkswagen co-workers around the world.”

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