FIRST ON 3: Volkswagen to eliminate 500 temp jobs
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Channel 3 has confirmed that 500 temporary positions are being eliminated at Volkswagen.
No Volkswagen staff employees will be affected, the source added. An official news release to other media will come later Thursday morning.
The temporary workers are supplied by Aerotek, a workforce solutions provider.
About two years after its official opening, the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga has concluded its initial phase of production. The team members at VW Chattanooga have successfully met the needed market introduction volume, matching higher than estimated sales demand and filling the sales pipeline for the award-winning Passat. Initial increased labor demand of the new plant, which started producing a new product with new suppliers and a new workforce, has been offset by increased efficiency.
Due to this progress the existing three-shift system will be changed to a two-shift system by May 13th. The variable workforce, hired to meet peak labor demand during the initial phase, will be adjusted accordingly by June 30th.
About 500 positions of the variable workforce are affected, while no positions in the Volkswagen workforce are impacted.
Aerotek supplies much of Volkswagen's hourly employees, who usually start at a lower pay rate. Once workers transition were to transition to working directly for Volkswagen, their pay rate would be slightly increased.
Lacie Stone, spokesperson for Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, issued the following statement to Channel 3: "Mayor Berke's thoughts go out to those affected by this situation. We are confident that Aerotek, through their strong partnership with VW, will continue to work with these employees as opportunities develop in the future."
The temporary labor supplier accounts for about one-fifth of Volkswagen's labor force at the Chattanooga facility. A third shift was added in early 2012 to add 500-800 workers to increase Volkswagen's production of the Chattanooga-built VW Passat.
Earlier this year, the UAW and Volkswagen wrestled with allowing workers to have open discussions on union organization.
The car was awarded Motor Trend's Car of the Year in 2012, the same year as its debut to the American market.