Volkswagen Labor Official Visits Chattanooga Facility

Nov 15, 2013


Labor officials with Volkswagen say a decision over union representation at the automaker's Chattanooga plant won’t affect the possibility of expanding production there. Volkswagen officials have said the company may add another vehicle to the production line at its lone U.S. plant in Chattanooga.

Bernd Osterloh is head of the company's global works councils and a member of the company's supervisory board. He toured the Chattanooga facility yesterday and said the plant is alone among Volkswagen facilities worldwide in that it does not have formal labor representation.

The company has been in talks with United Auto Workers about creating a German-style works council at the plant. Such a council would negotiate job security and working conditions, while the union would bargain for wages.

Osterloh also met with Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam in Nashville.

Governor Haslam and other Republican officials, including US Senator Bob Corker, have voiced opposition to unionizing the Chattanooga plant, saying it would hurt the region's ability to attract future investment. The Governor reiterated that point yesterday; Osterloh said any decision over unionization at the plant would not affect a possible expansion of production there.