The National Labor Relations Board has issued its ruling: There will be an election to determine if maintenance workers at Volkswagen want to be represented by the United Auto Workers union.
“We’re pleased that the NLRB upheld our members’ rights,” UAW Local 42 President Mike Cantrell said in a prepared statement. “We’re asking the company to respect the decision and not attempt to further interfere with the election for our skilled trades colleagues.”
He also said that the union’s continued goal is to move toward collective bargaining for the purpose of getting a multiyear contract at VW.
Volkswagen spokesman Scott Wilson said that the company has been informed of the decision that the board denied the company’s request to include both production andmaintenanceteam members in an election.
The election is scheduled forDec. 3-4at the plant’s conference center.
Hours for Dec. 3 are from 6 to 9:30 a.m. and 3 to 8:30 p.m.
Hours for Dec. 4 are from 6 to 9:30 a.m. and 3 to 6:30 p.m.
“The company is reviewing the content of the regional director’s decision and is considering its options,” he also said via email.
UAW Secretary-Treasurer/Director Gary Casteel said that it’s unfortunate that the parties spent time on this.
“It’s unfortunate that, in the middle of Volkswagen’s widening emissions scandal, we had to spend weeks debating workers’ rights that clearly are protected under federal law,” he said in a prepared statement. “Volkswagen’s attempt to sidestep U.S. law was a waste of employees’ time and energy, and a waste of government resources.”
Casteelalso said he hopes the company moves forward by recommitting to its core values.
The UAW’s Local 42filed a petition with the NLRB seeking an election in hopes of representing maintenance employees at Volkswagen Chattanooga and ultimately gaining collective bargaining powers.
Volkswagen then filed a “statement of position” in an effort to stop the United Auto Workers union fromorganizing only maintenance employees.Clickherefor more background.
After that, both sides participated in an NLRB hearing to determine whether there would be an election of onlymaintenanceworkers or if-as VW leaders wanted-there would be an election for all employees.
During the two-day hearing, Volkswagen’s legal team said that the group of 160 maintenance employees was not an appropriate unit because it excludes a significant number of employees, and the commonalities between production and maintenance workers are greater than the differences.
VW said that sectioning off the maintenance employees goes against the company’s “one team” philosophy.
But lawyers for the UAW said that just because the group as a whole would also be an appropriate unit doesn’t mean that it was the only appropriate unit and doesn’t mean the group of 160 couldn’t be an appropriate unit on its own.Clickherefor more background about each side’s argument.
Before the NLRB hearing was over, the UAW said they didn’t want an election unless it would only includemaintenanceemployees, also called skilledworkers.
NLRB Regional DirectorClaude T.Harrellwrote thatthe maintenance employees share a unique function and community of interest under traditional criteria.
Updated @ 4:33 p.m. on 11/18/15.