Volkswagen employees rally sides as union vote approaches
As days until the UAW vote to unionize Chattanooga's Volkswagen plant dwindle, workers on both sides of the argument continue to rally for support.
Though employees for and against may not agree on what should happen, they did agree on one thing: there's a clear divide at VW.
"There's a lot of tension inside," said VW worker, Brandi Gengler.
Those tensions continue to rise as employees get closer to June 12, the day they'll begin voting on unionization.
"I hope for us to unionize so we can make things better in the working environment," said another employee, Steven Fugate.
Fugate is one of the hourly workers who will vote next week. Fugate has been with the company for three years and says he wants to see more structure.
"We work four days one week, we've worked five days some weeks. They change the schedule," he explained.
He says he wants to see more structured schedules for the sake of spending time with his wife and twin boys.
"You really can't plan anything for your family," he told Channel 3.
On the other side of the argument are workers like eight-year employee Brandi Gengler.
"You don't know what they're going to be able to do for you. Right now, it's all promises," said Gengler.
She told Channel 3 in her time with the company, she's been satisfied with the benefits package VW offers, so much so, that she doesn't believe it could be topped.
"When you deal with the 'big three' contracts, a lot of their contracts are not as good as what we have now. So my fear is losing some of the benefits and the perks of being employees of Volkswagen," she explained.
The last time workers voted on the issue, efforts to unionize failed by a slim margin of 86 votes.
"Every other Volkswagen plant in the world is unionized. I just want a seat at the table," Fugate said.
This time workers on both sides are relying on their fellow VW employees to come together and make a choice.
"At the end of the day, it boils down to the employees making cars," Gengler told Channel 3.
READ MORE | Rep. Fleischmann weighs in on VW union vote
Both Governor Bill Lee and Congressman Chuck Fleischmann have voiced their disapproval for the idea of unionizing.
Channel 3 has reached out to Mayor Andy Berke for his thoughts. We're still waiting to hear back.
Stay with the WRCB app for updates to this story.