Volkswagen at Chattanooga workers petition NLRB to join union

Photo provided by VW-Chattanooga from when it introduced its Atlas SUV line.

UPDATE (April 16th):

Brian Rothenberg of the United Auto Workers tells NewsChannel 9 that on Monday, the UAW filed for the withdrawal of the earlier, 2015 election to make way for the vote of both production and maintenance workers.

Depend on us to keep you posted.


The United Auto Workers International (UAW) is making another attempt at establishing its union at Chattanooga's Volkswagen plant.

Brian Rothenberg of UAW Public Relations says workers at Chattanooga's Volkswagen plant filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Tuesday asking for the federal body to grant an election for all of its production and maintenance workers.

Rothenberg says in an email those workers are "fed up with not having the right to bargain like other VW employees worldwide."

Rothenberg's email quotes several VW-Chattanooga employees, including Ashley Murrya, who works on the night shift: "Why are Chattanooga workers treated differently? Why are we in Chattanooga not treated like other VW employees around the world? Why in Chattanooga do we have to make suggestions, not sit down and bargain like every other VW plant?”

This effort would be the first attempt in five years to organize most hourly workers at the plant. In 2014, the UAW was narrowly defeated in a bitterly-fought contest. In the run-up to that vote, state lawmakers threatened that tax credits could be withdrawn if the union won. Anti-labor groups rented billboards around Chattanooga blaming the UAW for Detroit's troubles.

Volkswagen employs about 1,400 people at its Chattanooga plant. Earlier this year, Volkswagen announced it would virtually double the size of the Chattanooga plant, and add an electric vehicle line, an investment worth $800 million.

Last month, the company announced it would raise its minimum wage for workers to $16.

NewsChannel 9 has reached out to officials at VW-Chattanooga for a response to this news. Spokeswoman Amanda Plecas has replied, "We are reviewing the petition, so it is too soon for us to comment."

Depend on us to update this story as we get new information.

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