As talks of a union forming at Chattanooga's Volkswagen plant continue, the attention now turns to Volkswagen management. The decision on whether to accept the United Auto Worker's account of the vote lies in the hands of Volkswagen.
Executives in Germany have already voiced support for a German-style works council at the Chattanooga Plant. The only way to do that is with the help of a union, in this case UAW. As for now, VW management on the local level is remaining pretty mum about the decision to count those cards or not.
VW officials in Chattanooga will not say much about employee complaints of pro-union pressure. Spokesman Guenther Scherelis says, "We are in a dialogue and do not comment on any details. We do not grant interviews on this topic at this stage."
"Co-determination is pretty much what myself and many of our other colleagues are looking for," says VW employee John Wright.
The UAW arranged for union supporters to meet with Channel 3. They do not want a secret vote and feel like the cards their co-workers already signed should count.
When asked if everyone had a full understanding of what the cards meant, Wright says, "Oh, absolutely. The cards themselves told people explicitly what they were signing and what they were asking for with the cards."
"Please allow us to vote. That's our only concern," says Carol Wilson.
Carol Wilson signed a card a year and a half ago but had it revoked. She is afraid if the union moves in her job might be in jeopardy.
"Personally, I feel intimidated because I'm thinking, 'Ok, it's a right to work state. Am I going to have a job tomorrow if the union comes in? They're going to replace us with other union people that are out of work right now,'" says Wilson.
She and other workers claim UAW influenced some employees to sign pledge cards with free meals and tickets to Lake Winnie.
"I know somebody that got nine tickets to go to Lake Winnie to go sign a card," says Wilson.
Anti-union workers at VW formed a website, 'www.no2uaw.com.' On it is a Facebook post advertising the September 7th trip. It says in part, "Are you a union supporter at VW? Signed a union card?" It goes on to tell employees to stop by the UAW office and "get your free tickets and join us in solidarity!"
"We did have a majority before the Lake Winnie event took place. So, I don't understand where people are coming from," says Wright.
UAW Region 8 director Gary Casteel has said, "It's ludicrous to think that Chattanooga benefits from being the only outlier in this system."
UAW president Bob King says, "An election process is more divisive. I don't think that's in Volkswagen's best interests. I don't think that's in the best interests of Tennessee."
Pro-union workers we talked with say the main push for unionizing is for better communication between workers and management. But other employees we talked with say that already exists with yearly 'pulse surveys,' which monitors worker's top concerns.
Count on Channel 3 to let you know when or if a secret vote takes place. Reports that surfaced Wednesday say it could be months before VW makes a decision.