This afternoon, the United Auto Workers union is expected to announce the creation of a local chapter to represent Chattanooga Volkswagen employees.
We will be announcing a local, and we would fully expect that Volkswagen would deal with this local union if it represents a substantial portion of its employees.
This is the latest development in the union’s efforts to organize Volkswagen workers.
But Volkswagen spokesman Scott Wilson said there is no official agreement between the company and the union.
“Just like anywhere else in the world, the establishment of a local organization is a matter for the trade union concerned,” he said via email. “There is no contract or other formal agreement with UAW on this matter.”
In February, VW employees at the Chattanooga plant voted against union representation in a 712-626 vote.
Before that vote, VW and UAW leaders created a lengthy agreement about how the election would work, and local, state and national politicians weighed in on the contentious issue.
Click here to read more about that and see the agreement.
That agreement, in part, said that if the union lost, they would “discontinue all organizing activities at the Chattanooga plant and all other [Volkswagen Group of America] facilities and locations for a period of not less than one year beginning with the date of the election.”
The UAW appealed that decision with the National Labor Relations Board, and a hearing was set to take place in April, but UAW leaders dropped their objections the day of the hearing.
Channel 5 and The Tennessean reported that membership in the local UAW chapter would be voluntary, but details of how it would work-whether members would pay dues, for example-are unclear.
UAW leaders have called a news conference on the issue today at 4 p.m.
This news comes as Volkswagen leaders are expected to announce whether an SUV will be made in Chattanooga. If that happens, it would likely mean hundreds of jobs for the area.
Updated @ 11:47 a.m. on 7/10/14 to add more information as it became available.