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Friday, November 20, 2015

UAW Gets Vote on “micro-unit” at VW-Chattanooga


Constangy Client Bulletin #568

November 19, 2015


The UAW lost one battle, but it may win another.
The National Labor Relations Board granted yesterday the United Auto Workers’ petition for a union election at the Volkswagen facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The election will be in a “micro-unit” of skilled tradesmen at the plant and will take place on December 3-4, only two weeks from now.
According to the Associated Press/ABC News, the voting unit will consist of approximately 162 employees who maintain and repair manufacturing robots. This is approximately 12 percent of the facility’s total blue-collar workforce.
VW unsuccessfully opposed the “micro-unit,” contending that the UAW should not be able to separately bargain on behalf of the small unit and arguing that the timing was suspect, in light of the company’s recent troubles related to diesel-fuel emissions tests.
Because of their relatively high level of skill, maintenance employees are not easily replaced in the event of a strike. For this reason, if the UAW is successful, the skilled-trades unit is expected to have significant leverage against VW in bargaining.
We’ve been covering the situation at VW-Chattanooga extensively and will keep you up to date on the latest developments, including the election results.
Prior Constangy coverage of VW-Chattanooga (from newest to oldest):
For a printer-friendly copy, click here.

Tommy Eden is a partner working out of the Constangy, Smith & Prophete, LLP offices in Opelika, AL and West Point, GA and a member of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and serves on the Board of Directors for the East Alabama SHRM Chapter. The above information was taken from a more extensive Client Alert published by his law firm’s OSHA Practice Group. Tommy can be contacted at teden@constangy.com or 334-246-2901. Blog at www.alabamaatwork.com