Volkswagen Workers Choose Union in Chattanooga Vote

Published Categorized as Volkswagen No Comments on Volkswagen Workers Choose Union in Chattanooga Vote
CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE (Credits: Elijah Nouvelage)

Workers at the Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant just made history! They voted to join the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, marking a significant win for both the workers and the UAW.

This victory comes on the heels of a successful year for the UAW. Last September, they took a bold step by launching a coordinated strike against all three major automakers in the US at once. This strategy paid off, and within six weeks, the UAW secured deals with each company, including substantial pay increases and other benefits for workers.

workers union of the Chattanooga plant (Credits: Volkswagen)

But the impact went beyond UAW members. Seeing the success of the strikes, several other companies, including Volkswagen, Hyundai, Toyota, Honda, and even Tesla, decided to offer their own employees significant pay raises (around 10% or more).

This highlights the power of unions in raising the bar for wages across the entire industry, even for non-union workers. The UAW president, Shawn Fain, cleverly dubbed this phenomenon the “UAW bump” and used it to emphasize a key point: strong unions benefit workers not just within their own companies but throughout the economy.

Energized by these victories, the UAW has set its sights on unionizing all remaining automakers in the US. And guess what? President Biden himself has publicly voiced his support for this ambitious goal!

This isn’t the first time Chattanooga workers have tried to form a union. There were previous attempts in 2014 and 2019, but they fell short. This time around, however, things were different. The plant’s workforce has more than doubled since 2019, and there’s a stronger national push for worker representation.

The previous attempts also faced political headwinds. Republican government officials in Tennessee and other nearby states opposed the unionization efforts. This time around, President Biden himself stepped in to express his support for the workers’ right to vote and even criticized the opposing governors for trying to block the vote.

the Chattanooga plant (Credits: Volkswagen)

Another factor that might have played a role in the past failures? Corruption scandals that plagued the UAW leadership. The current UAW president, Shawn Fain, is actually the first to be elected by the members, a change from the previous practice of appointing presidents.

So, what’s being built at this historic unionized plant? The VW ID.4 electric vehicle and the VW Atlas. The ID.4 was specifically brought to Chattanooga to qualify for US EV tax credits, and VW might even consider building more electric vehicles there in the future.


By Annie Linardos

I'm a journalist student and completed my masters in Journalism and Mass Communication. With a strong track record as an intern at Mathrubhumi News and The New Indian Express as a reporter and content writer, I'm creative, motivated, and have a keen eye for the truth and attempting to use the expertise and talents to contribute to the emerging field of journalism. I have also been working as a freelance writer and have the capability of producing interesting and bold articles.

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