New date set for hearing to determine Volkswagen unionization vote
The fight continues for Chattanooga Volkswagen employees in favor of unionization after the National Labor Relations Board dismissed UAW's petition to allow a vote.
Officials with United Auto Workers say it's been a long road in the battle to represent VW workers but despite their petition being dismissed Wednesday, it doesn't end here.
That's because they've re-filed the petition and a new hearing date has been set.
"This plant is the only Volkswagen plant in the world that doesn't have a union," UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg told Channel 3.
He says for the last four years, United Auto Workers has been trying to change that.
"Back in December of 2015, the maintenance workers who fix the machines all voted to form a union," he recalled.
Rothenberg told Channel 3 the effort was shot down by VW after the company requested the petition for a union include all hourly workers.
"Both the maintenance workers and on the assembly line and to file," he added.
It happened again most recently on Wednesday when the petition they filed in April including all hourly workers was denied.
"Because the maintenance workers had their pending issue, Volkswagen opposed us having that dismissed," Rothenberg said.
The NLRB sided with VW. In a statement the company issued, VW cited that the board, "found that the petition wasn't filed properly and any delay is solely due to the union having its petition prior to resolution of the maintenance-only unit issue."
Rothenberg called the move a "legal game".
"There's no reason that Volkswagen should continue to play legal games--just let them vote," he said.
VW workers may still get the opportunity to vote, because hours after the dismissal on Wednesday, UAW re-filed their petition.
"Now, we're right back to where we were and on May 31st there's a hearing to set a voting date. Bottom line here is Chattanooga workers deserve the opportunity to vote," Rothenberg said.
The last time workers voted, they rejected union representation by an 86-vote margin.
A statement from VW says that they've, "received the UAW's petition and will work with the NLRB to schedule the election."
The full statement from Volkswagen reads:
"We respect our colleagues’ right to decide on representation. The Company has always maintained that a proper vote should include production and maintenance employees, and that legal issues surrounding the maintenance-only unit should have been resolved before the Union filed a petition to represent the entire production and maintenance group. The NLRB agreed with the Company’s position, found that the petition was not filed properly, and ruled that “any delay is solely due to [the Union’s] having filed its petition” prior to resolution of the maintenance-only unit issue. The NLRB’s decision today will allow us to proceed in a way consistent with board law as well as our one-team approach. We have taken a neutral position on the issue and will continue to do so.
We have received the UAW’s new petition and will work with the NLRB to schedule the election."
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