published Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Workplace group voices concern over UAW in Chattanooga

Should VW hold a secret-ballot vote regarding a union?

Another group is weighing into the fray over the United Auto Workers efforts to organize Chattanooga’s Volkswagen plant.

The Workforce Fairness Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based group, in a letter to VW Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn, said the automaker ought to hold a secret-ballot vote of workers at the plant over the union issue.

“We believe it is in the best interests of everyone involved that workers be able to express their will for or against unionization in an environment that is safe and free from manipulation and coercion,” said the letter signed by Fred Wszolek of WFI.

It cited recent charges by eight plant employees to the National Labor Relations Board that intimidation and harassment was taking place at the factory by the UAW to gain their signatures.

“Volkswagen has the ability to protect its employees’ rights without them having to pursue the complaint they filed with the NLRB,” said Wszolek.

However, the UAW has called the charges a frivolous and baseless attempt to delay negotiations between the union and VW.

Gary Casteel, regional director in the Southeast for the UAW, said the cards signed by a majority to the workers state they are supporting the UAW’s effort to represent them.

“It’s as binding and legal as any vote,” he said.

See more in Wednesday’s Times Free Press.

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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