Three days of a union-organizing vote at the Chattanooga, Tennessee Volkswagen plant ends today. This special election will have a widespread impact on labor organization and the structure of unions themselves in the United States. Two Cornell University automotive and labor-law experts are available for media comment.
Art Wheaton, automotive industry expert and senior extension associate at Cornell’s ILR School:
“U.S. labor law requires VW to have a union in order for the works councils to be legal. If Volkswagen workers vote for the union it is expected to have a ripple effect on other auto manufacturers in the Southern United States and their suppliers.”
Lowell Turner, director of the Worker Institute at Cornell’s ILR School and a former union representative from San Francisco.
“Union representation will lead to the establishment of a German-style works council, the first ever in the U.S. Every VW plant in the world has both union representation and a works council – except Chattanooga – it’s the VW culture.”