UPDATE: Volkswagen plans union vote for workers - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Volkswagen plans union vote for workers

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Chattanooga's Volkswagen workers will vote in a secret ballot to decide if they will have union representation.

In a news release from Volkswagen, the VW Vice President for Human Resources in Chattanooga Sebastian Patta, said: "Employees have the right to decide, by voting in a secret ballot election, on a matter that concerns their own interests."

"Volkswagen respects this democratic right at all locations worldwide," Patta said.

Chattanooga is the only major Volkswagen assembly facility without labor representation.

"With a local works council, workers would have a voice they can use to make Volkswagen stronger; in safety, job security and efficiency," said Jonathan Walden, Volkswagen paint technician. "Global representation means Chattanooga workers may have a strong voice in seeking new products and bringing more jobs to Tennessee."

After discussions with the United Auto Workers (UAW), Volkswagen Group of America filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board requesting a representation election.

The NLRB has scheduled the election for Feb. 12-14, 2014.

The UAW is willing to set up a Works Council if the majority of employees vote in favor of union representation.

There is already a precedent for such a model in Germany and at other Volkswagen Group locations.

Under the Works Council model, a Works Council represents employees on a wide range of internal matters at the plant, while their union represents the employees on matters relating to terms and conditions such as working hours, compensation and benefits.  

Details of related rights and responsibilities for each group  would be negotiated after a vote if the UAW is certified.

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