Volkswagen Chattanooga workers will decide if they want to represented by a union. Voting began Wednesday and concludes Friday.

The resulting decision by VW's 1,700-strong workforce in the three-day vote could have a profound effect on other auto manufacturers in the region.

Advertising for both pro- and anti-union sides have been flooding local news websites and airwaves.

During the last vote in Chattanooga five years ago, the union narrowly failed, getting support of 47% of the employees who voted. Some Republican politicians in Tennessee, a state known for its tough anti-union policies, felt that VW had been too solicitous of the workers. After that vote, the UAW commended the company for trying to "provide an atmosphere of freedom to make a decision."

A win for the union, the United Auto Workers union, would be historic. Foreign automakers, such as VW and Toyota, own 31 factories and produce nearly half of the cars built in the United States.

None of those foreign-owned plants have ever been unionized. Workers there are generally paid less than workers represented by the UAW.

The United Auto Workers union membership and influence have been shrinking for decades. In the latest effort to reverse that trend, the union will try to win a vote this week at Volkswagen's only US plant.

"It is important for the UAW to nab one of the plants to rebuild membership as well as clout," said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst with Cox Automotive. "But I'm not optimistic it's going to happen."

The UAW faces tough negotiations with General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler on a new round of labor deals later this year.

The National Labor Relations Board says the voting will be:

Wednesday, June 12, 2019 Thursday, June 13, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019
4:45 a.m.-9:00 a.m.
AND
3:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Conference Center
8001 Volkswagen Drive,
Chattanooga, TN
4:45 a.m.-9:00 a.m.
AND
3:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Conference Center
8001 Volkswagen Drive,
Chattanooga, TN
 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Conference Center
8001 Volkswagen Drive,
Chattanooga, TN