VW has 60 plants around the world and the only one that does not have a works council that represents labor with plant management is their Chattanooga, TN plant. An expansion of that plant is being held up by VW management in Germany because of that lack of representation. Germany has maintained a very high union density largely because labor is constitutionally represented on the boards of German companies. Such strong union protections have kept Germany from falling victim to the ravages of globalization and outsourcing.
A German newspaper reported that VW Group deputy council chief Stephan Wolf said, “We will only agree to an extension of the site or any other model contract when it is clear how to proceed with the employees’ representatives in the United States.”
The UAW is trying to get a foothold in this plant and is being supported by the German management of the company. The answer to who is against this and how many tacos are they short of a combo meal is predictable, respectively TN politicians and several tacos short are the right answers.
On Friday, Hamilton County Commissioner Tim Boyd, a past critic of UAW efforts, wouldn’t comment on the works council.
But he said the union has “a horrible track record in North America” and that “they virtually put Detroit out of business.”
“The taxpayers of Tennessee have invested over $554 million,” Boyd said, citing the cost of tax incentives provided by state and local governments to gain the Chattanooga plant. “The UAW hasn’t invested a dime.”
Right, it was the unions that have decimated Detroit. Those ghost towns that used to be Detroit suburbs were caused by the workers all moving to Mexico? It wasn’t management making horrendous business decisions or shoddy engineering or health care costs driving up the price of lousy cars, it was the commie unions who hate jobs. Thanks County Commissioner Boyd for standing up for proving once again that the mentally challenged can win elections. And nice touch noting the UAW’s lack of investment in the plant that your government banned them from any involvement in – that’s what we smart people call a straw man nice use of a grown up debate tactic.
This spring, VW’s board member in charge of human resources globally said the automaker was talking with the UAW about setting up a German-style works council at the Tennessee plant. It would be the first U.S. auto plant to have such a labor board, experts have said.
The step also would provide a much-sought-after foothold by the UAW at a U.S. auto plant owned by a foreign automaker.
The Chattanooga Chamber and Republican Gov. Bill Haslam have criticized the effort, saying the UAW isn’t needed.
Hopefully, VW shames BMW, Mercedes and Audi to likewise afford the same protections to their third world workers in the American south that they give to their German workers. We saved the Germans from fascism once, it’s their turn to save us.