VW Workers In Chattanooga Fight For Works Council

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VW Workers In Chattanooga Fight For Works Council
VW Workers In Chattanooga Fight For Works Council

Video: VW Workers In Chattanooga Fight For Works Council

Video: VW Workers In Chattanooga Fight For Works Council
Video: Head of VW Works Council visiting Volkswagen Chattanooga 2023, September

Around the globe, VW's 100 production sites have employee representatives. But there is one exception: the Chattanooga plant. But the employees do not want to accept that.

In the smoldering dispute over a works council at the Volkswagen site in Chattanooga in the USA, the employee side is now putting the gun on the company's chest. The group works council is threatening to block further growth in Chattanooga if the workforce there is not finally given a committee for codetermination.

Vice-Group Works Council Chairman Stephan Wolf told the dpa news agency on the sidelines of the celebration for the 30 millionth Golf: "In the supervisory board, we will only approve an expansion of the site or another model award if it is clear how things will proceed with employee representation in the USA. " Otherwise, Volkswagen will have to find alternative locations for further growth in North America for better or worse.

Establishing a works council is becoming a political issue

According to the works council, all 100 VW production sites around the world have employee representatives - only the only US site in Chattanooga not. It is located in the conservative southern state of Tennessee, where the Republicans dominate. The establishment of a works council has been a political issue there for months. Because from a purely legal point of view, a union is needed to support it. The UAW trade union, which is feared by automakers, is in the starting blocks - it now senses its chance to finally gain a foothold in the south, where almost all of the major foreign automakers have plants.

US Senator Bob Corker had raged loudly against the UAW in the past, and it has been decried as a red rag by the employer-affiliated Republicans. What exactly is currently the issue remained unclear on Tuesday. The works council did not want to comment beyond Wolf's statement. According to reports from US corporations, the workers' side is now expecting offers from the Republicans. VW is one of the largest investors in the structurally weak region and attracted numerous suppliers with the new plant.

Expansion strategy at risk

With their blockade, the workers are torpedoing central parts of the expansion strategy. At the beginning of the year, VW presented the Crossblue SUV. In addition to Chattanooga, Mexico, where the group has three locations, is also being discussed for the new model.

A confidante of group works council chief Bernd Osterloh told the dpa on Tuesday: "The United States are big. And there are also more union-friendly spots than the southern states. Either there is an employee representation there - or the board has to make alternative location proposals." In the VW supervisory board, nothing works without the employee side. The company said on Tuesday that it was fundamentally in favor of corporate interest groups. However, the group points out: "In the USA, the issue of trade union representation is very controversial; critical experiences from the history of the automotive industry also contribute to this." That is why VW is working on an "innovative model of lobbying" that takes into account the special features in the USA. (dpa)