NLRB submits complaint against Volkswagen concerning practices at Tennessee plant

United States National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)

The United States National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has submitted an unfair labor practices complaint against Volkswagen for hiking health insurance premiums and altering working hours of a group of skilled workers who elected union representation in 2015.

The complaint is part of a prolonged battle over the NLRB’s recognition of the vote by approximately 160 skilled workers at VW’s Chattanooga plant located in Tennessee to be represented by the United Auto Workers union.

The German automaker has argued against permitting a small group within the plant to have union representation, preserving that all 1,500 hourly workers need to be dealt as one system.

The union looked to represent only a part of the plant’s employees after it narrowly lost a February 2014 election to represent all hourly employees at the plant.

The NLRB complaint specifies that problems like working hours and conditions of work are “mandatory subjects for the purposes of collective bargaining.”

In an emailed declaration, VW spokesperson Scott Wilson stated, “We basically disagree with the decision to separate” the skilled workers from the rest and “will continue our effort to permit everybody to vote as one group on the matter of union representation.”

In an affidavit by the UAW, an employee at the plant stated that the company has actually “refused to negotiate with the Union” regarding the changes.

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