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Top Volkswagen official says failure to unionize could hurt the South's chances of VW presence
Nooga,com ^ | February 19th, 2014 | Chloé Morrison

Posted on 02/19/2014 5:29:01 PM PST by Colonel Kangaroo

Bernd Osterloh, who is the Volkswagen AG General and Group Works Council chairman, said that future investments in the South might be hurt if workers will not unionize, according to Reuters.

The comments come days after Volkswagen Chattanooga workers voted against representation by the United Auto Workers Union.

After years of quiet work by union leaders and a contentious campaigning period, officials announced Friday night that Volkswagen employees opted against UAW representation with a 712-626 vote.

But at that announcement, Volkswagen Chattanooga President Frank Fischer said the vote wasn't against the works council and that there is still support for that idea.

Osterloh said that, if co-determination isn't guaranteed, it would be more difficult to vote in favor of building another auto plant in the South.

"I can imagine fairly well that another VW factory in the United States, provided that one more should still be set up there, does not necessarily have to be assigned to the South again," Osterloh said, according to Reuters.

The works council is a 20-member group that has an even division of labor and management representatives. They have to approve decisions about where to locate new plants.

Osterloh's comments have been the target of criticism in the past.

In the fall, Osterloh said that having a works council is important to producing a second vehicle in Chattanooga.

"We know how important that vehicle is for Chattanooga," Osterloh said, according to Reuters.

With help from the National Right to Work Legal Foundation, some VW employees filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board against Volkswagen America, in part because of that statement.

Some workers and lawyers thought the comments constituted coercion.

NLRB officials have since recommended dismissal of those charges, but not because his statement didn't qualify as coercive. Instead, the NLRB decision said that Osterloh isn't bound by U.S. law because he's in Germany.

After those comments that seemed to tie the union vote to local VW expansion, Osterloh also said there was no connection between the union vote and expansion in Chattanooga.

Some Volkswagen AG leaders, such as Osterloh, want Chattanooga’s plant to be a part of its works council system. It’s currently one of the only plants out of about 100 around the world that operates outside that system.

Because the National Labor Relations Act forbids companies to have an internal union, organizing the local plant can’t be done exactly like the German model.

Volkswagen AG leaders want a works council because it would allow them to stay in touch with ideas and thoughts from Chattanooga workers and come to future deals about working conditions, Horst Neumann, VW's board member for human resources, said, according to Automotive News.

In his most recent comments, Osterloh said that conservatives might be to blame for anti-union feelings.

Sen. Bob Corker and other Republicans campaigned against the UAW efforts, saying that it would hurt the state's ability to attract auto suppliers. They argued that the UAW has a bad reputation, in part because of its ties to the Detroit auto industry.

"The conservatives stirred up massive, anti-union sentiments," Osterloh said, according to Reuters. "It's possible that the conclusion will be drawn that this interference amounted to unfair labor praxis."

Despite last week's vote against UAW representation, some Volkswagen leaders still want Chattanooga workers to be part of the Global Works Council.

But it's still unclear exactly how that would work.

And Gunnar Kilian, secretary-general of VW's works council, told Reuters and The New York Times that he plans to come to the United States within the next two weeks to consult labor law experts and figure out the next steps toward reaching his goal.

Meanwhile, state and local leaders are in talks with VW in hopes of getting a new vehicle made in Chattanooga.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Germany; News/Current Events; US: Michigan; US: Ohio; US: Tennessee
KEYWORDS: bobcorker; chattanooga; corker; dixie; laborunions; tennessee; uaw; volkswagen
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If VW wants labor unions in their US factories there are plenty of Northern states which would oblige.
1 posted on 02/19/2014 5:29:01 PM PST by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

Don’t they already have enough quality problems without bringing unions in?


2 posted on 02/19/2014 5:30:27 PM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

That would certainly qualify for the Irony of the Day Award.


3 posted on 02/19/2014 5:32:06 PM PST by Oliviaforever
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

We have a huge BMW plant in Greer, SC and they employ nearly 8,000 and are doing fine. In fact, they are hiring now.


4 posted on 02/19/2014 5:32:07 PM PST by ilovesarah2012
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

VW = Trojan Horse.


5 posted on 02/19/2014 5:32:32 PM PST by rsobin
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

This is why VW stays #3 . . . even Government Motors is still #2 behind Toyota.


6 posted on 02/19/2014 5:32:46 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Colonel Kangaroo
Maybe this is damage control to placate libtards and Democrats while secretly celebrating the failure of the Unions to grab another sucker.
7 posted on 02/19/2014 5:33:56 PM PST by vetvetdoug
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

I wonder how much the BIG labor thugs paid this clown to say stupid stuff for them. I’ll bet they bought him pretty cheap.


8 posted on 02/19/2014 5:34:12 PM PST by FlingWingFlyer (As government expands, liberty contracts. - President Ronald W. Reagan)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

Global Works Council! Go back to Germany and your workers paradise! Better yet, move VW to Detroit. I’m sure you can find some will union employees.


9 posted on 02/19/2014 5:35:08 PM PST by Lake Living
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

Sounds like someone needs to either amend the Labor Relations Act, or start a new union that is independent of both VW or the UAW.

Stupid law if you can’t hold meetings with your employees to discuss the products and processes of manufacture without having a union.


10 posted on 02/19/2014 5:35:37 PM PST by SoothingDave
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

the NLRB should not control how a company structures its workforce. If they want a council they should have one. Most have a labor/management safety committee. I hate doing these things by legislation but this may be necessary to reduce the NLRB’s power over the internal working of an industrial plant.


11 posted on 02/19/2014 5:38:43 PM PST by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-hereQaeda" and its allies.)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

VW’S SUCK.

We can do without VW.


12 posted on 02/19/2014 5:40:06 PM PST by BBB333 (Q: Which is grammatically correct? Joe Biden IS or Joe Biden ARE an idiot?)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

For lurkers who might not know, VW also owns Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley and Ducati, as well as a couple other brands that aren’t sold in the US.


13 posted on 02/19/2014 5:40:07 PM PST by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

Sounds like someone needs to either amend the Labor Relations Act, or start a new union that is independent of both VW or the UAW.

Stupid law if you can’t hold meetings with your employees to discuss the products and processes of manufacture without having a union.


14 posted on 02/19/2014 5:40:23 PM PST by SoothingDave
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

OK,fair enough.But the *other* car makers will take up your slack.Honda,Toyota.Hyundai,BMW....it’s not a coincidence that they located in the South rather than in Michigan,Indiana,Ohio,etc.


15 posted on 02/19/2014 5:45:31 PM PST by Gay State Conservative (Obama: "I can do whatever I want")
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To: elpadre

Agree.


16 posted on 02/19/2014 5:45:41 PM PST by Jane Long (While Marxists continue the fundamental transformation of the USA, progressive RINOs assist!)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

If I understand the problem correctly, VW doesn’t want unionization, they want a workers council, whatever that is. Under US law for some reason, a car plant that isn’t unionized can’t have a workers council. On top of that, a car plant can’t apparently unionize unless they do it under the UAW.

In other words, VW doesn’t “want” the union, it wants the freedom to be a more responsive company to its workers, a freedom currently outlawed by the US government unless the UAW gets its cut first.


17 posted on 02/19/2014 5:46:22 PM PST by jz638
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

What kind of drugs is this guy taking?


18 posted on 02/19/2014 5:47:31 PM PST by logic101.net (How many more children must die on the altar of "gun free zones"?)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

Funny but nowhere in the article dos it say a “Works Council” according to US law must be represented by the UAW...


19 posted on 02/19/2014 5:48:38 PM PST by Popman ("Resistance to Tyrants is Obedience to God" - Thomas Jefferson)
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To: driftdiver

They are making the mistake of equating UAW union goons with German unions.


20 posted on 02/19/2014 5:51:52 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Haven't you lost enough freedoms? Support an end to the WOD now.)
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