Client Bulletin #568

UPDATE (Dec. 7, 2015) – On Friday, December 4, 2015, the employees in the new “micro” unit at VW-Chattanooga voted 108-44 to be represented by the UAW. The Company has said that it intends to appeal the ruling that allowed the election.

The UAW lost one battle, but it may win another.

The National Labor Relations Board granted yesterday the United Auto Workers’ petition for a union election at the Volkswagen facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The election will be in a “micro-unit” of skilled tradesmen at the plant and will take place on December 3-4, only two weeks from now.

According to the Associated Press/ABC News, the voting unit will consist of approximately 162 employees who maintain and repair manufacturing robots. This is approximately 12 percent of the facility’s total blue-collar workforce.

VW unsuccessfully opposed the “micro-unit,” contending that the UAW should not be able to separately bargain on behalf of the small unit and arguing that the timing was suspect, in light of the company’s recent troubles related to diesel-fuel emissions tests.

Because of their relatively high level of skill, maintenance employees are not easily replaced in the event of a strike. For this reason, if the UAW is successful, the skilled-trades unit is expected to have significant leverage against VW in bargaining.

We’ve been covering the situation at VW-Chattanooga extensively and will keep you up to date on the latest developments, including the election results.

Prior Constangy coverage of VW-Chattanooga (from newest to oldest):

Back to the past at VW-Chattanooga?

Unions double up at Volkswagen-Chattanooga plant

UAW wins “Cadillac” rights at VW plant in Chattanooga

Volkswagen adopts “European-style” engagement policy for Chattanooga . . . but will it stall?

UAW puts brakes on objections to Volkswagen election just before hearing - avoiding crash into First Amendment?

Some thoughts on the UAW’s loss at Volkswagen

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