VW Chattanooga Management Says Union Vote Will Not Be Diverted "By Outside Political Groups"

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Volkswagen Chattanooga management said Saturday that "outside political groups" would not divert VW in connection with the upcoming controversial employee vote on whether the plant will be unionized.

VW has worked well with unions in the past and will continue to do so if the employees vote to join the United Auto Workers, it was stated.

Top VW management said the decision is up to the workers, and VW will respect either decision.

Former County Mayor and Deputy Governor Claude Ramsey last week held a press conference urging the workers not to vote for the union. Legislative leaders, including Gerald McCormick and Bo Watson, plan a similar press conference on Monday. Senator Bob Corker has strongly decried the union move.

Volkswagen Chattanooga CEO and Chairman Frank Fischer said, "Volkswagen America is committed to innovation and productivity in its manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to serve its American customers in the best way possible. The jobs we've created here and the future we're building together go hand in hand. Our commitment to Tennessee is a long term investment.

"The Volkswagen Group is proud of its record of cooperation and co-determination between employees, management and the communities in which we live and work. Our Works Councils are key to our success and productivity. It is a business model that helped to make Volkswagen the second largest car company in the world.  Our plant in Chattanooga has the opportunity to create a uniquely American Works Council, in which the company would be able to work cooperatively with our employees and ultimately their union representatives, if the employees decide they wish to be represented by a union. 

“Volkswagen America has been fortunate to have strong local partners here in Chattanooga and we will continue to work with them as we move forward together.”

Volkswagen Chattanooga Vice President for Human Resources Sebastian Patta said, "Volkswagen America understands how important openness and transparency are in the workplace. Democracy is an American ideal, and being open with our employees is a central pillar of our Works Councils.  Volkswagen’s commitment to these values is one of the reasons why, although the law allowed us to recognize the UAW without an election on the basis of a card check, we asked the NLRB to conduct this election.  A secret ballot, one-worker-one-vote election furthers our values at Volkswagen America and will help us grow stronger in the future with our employees.

"Outside political groups won't divert us from the work at hand: innovating, creating jobs, growing, and producing great automobiles. Fact is: Our employees are free to discuss and state their opinions at the plant and to distribute campaign materials, including flyers and other literature, irrespective of whether they are in favor of or against a union. We wish to point out that our employees who are against union representation as well as those in favor have consistently taken advantage of and exercised these rights.  Volkswagen America is committed to defending our employees’ legal right to make a free choice. It is their decision. Volkswagen America will respect whatever choice they make.”



City Council Approves Kyle Hedrick As New Administrative Hearing Officer

The City Council on Tuesday approved Kyle Hedrick as the city's first administrative hearing officer. City Attorney Wade Hinton said the establishment of a second administrative hearing officer should come in late September or early October. Officials said former City Judge Walter Williams has been pegged for that spot. Donna Williams, economic development director, said $59,500 ... (click for more)

City Council Approves David Roddy As Police Chief In 8-1 Vote

The City Council on Tuesday night voted 8-1 to approve David Roddy as police chief. Russell Gilbert cast the only no vote. Councilwoman asked that he be given a chance, saying the council could "hold him accountable" if problems arise. Chief Roddy became interim after the departure of Fred Fletcher. (click for more)

The Soul Of Chattanooga Is In Trouble

As a child growing up in the Chattanooga area, at an early age I became fascinated with the history that cloaks the city. In those days there was enough pollution to cover the town and its history but that didn't stop tourists from coming to visit Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and the Chickamauga battlefield.     Chattanooga's leadership was not very far sighted ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ordinary To Extraordinary

A handsome black guy, from the looks of it still in high school, appeared in a video during A Celebration of Valor luncheon at the Chattanooga Convention Center Tuesday afternoon and described a Medal of Honor winner. Easily over 500 were there, including our famed Charles Coolidge, and all heard this young achiever say, “A Medal winner if an ordinary person who performs in an extraordinary ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Gets Revenge With Boyd-Buchanan

The Notre Dame volleyball team may have felt they let one get away in the championship match of the Hixson Invitational Saturday afternoon against the Boyd-Buchanan Lady Buccaneers, but they were bound to not let it happen again. At least, not during a home match against these same Lady Bucs Tuesday evening in the rowdy confines of their Jack Steiner Sr. Gymnasium. The Lady ... (click for more)

Despite Sloppy Finish, Lady Raiders Sweep McMinn

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Cleveland High School’s volleyball team came close to completely satisfying its coach Tuesday. The Lady Raiders then got lazy. Coach Trish Flowers, who has another state tournament contender on her hands this season, let the squad feel her displeasure in the postgame huddle. “I was within just a few minutes of being in a good mood,” said Flowers, ... (click for more)