A signed agreement reveals that Volkswagen authorities broke a pledge to acknowledge the United Auto Workers without another vote at the automaker’s only U.S. plant in Tennessee, a top union official stated Tuesday.
Gary Casteel, the UAW’s secretary-treasurer, brought the 2014 file specifying that Volkswagen would acknowledge the UAW as the representative of its members in exchange for the union dropping a difficulty to the outcome of a union election at the plant located in Chattanooga.
“Volkswagen never fulfilled its commitments to acknowledge the union as a representative of its members,” Castell stated in a conference call. “The unfinished commitment is at the heart of the continuous disagreement between the company and the union.”
The union stated the written contract for the company to “recognize the UAW as a ‘members union'” came from negotiations led by Volkswagen’s then-chief financial officer, Hans Dieter Poetsch, who has since been named chairman amid the automaker’s diesel emissions cheating scandal.
However Volkswagen Chattanooga spokesperson Scott Wilson countered in an e-mail that the company has “no contract with the UAW”. He said the contract is shown in a labor policy established at the plant to formalize conferences in between worker representatives and management, however stops well short of cumulative bargaining.