To be straightforward, I'll readily admit I am not a political scholar.
I know business, technology and cars. That's it.
So when I heard that the UAW was trying to get involved in Volkswagen's Tennessee operations in Chattanooga, it was interesting for me. Having never had friends or family members work in a union it's something I am not entirely familiar with. Some media reports are in favor, some are negative.
If one lesson can be learned from union involvement though, it's that though they claim to operate in the worker's best interest, that's not always the end result. Look at what happened when the unions didn't back down and Hostess shuttered its bakeries. And, need I really point to the domestics and how they were hamstrung by unions for years until recently?
Now what do I make of VW's employees voting "no" to the UAW's involvement. A part of me thinks it speaks for itself. BUT, I'll leave it up to you to fill in the blanks where you see fit.
Is the "No" vote against the UAW by VW employees a sign of changing times or is this simply politics as usual?
Volkswagen's press release follows:
VOLKSWAGEN CHATTANOOGA EMPLOYEES VOTE AGAINST UNION REPRESENTATION
Feb 14, 2014
Chattanooga, Tenn. (February 14, 2014) — Volkswagen Chattanooga employees have voted in a secret ballot election against United Auto Workers (UAW) representation. Participation in the election was 89 percent. 53 percent of the eligible employees who voted decided against the UAW as their bargaining representative in an election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) between February 12 – 14.
“On behalf of Volkswagen Group of America, I want to thank all of our Chattanooga production and maintenance employees for their participation in this week's vote. They have spoken, and Volkswagen will respect the decision of the majority,” said Frank Fischer, CEO and Chairman of Volkswagen Chattanooga. “The election results remain to be certified by the NLRB,” Fischer, said.
“Our employees have not made a decision that they are against a works council. Throughout this process, we found great enthusiasm for the idea of an American-style works council both inside and outside our plant,” Fischer noted. “Our goal continues to be to determine the best method for establishing a works council in accordance with the requirements of U.S. labor law to meet VW America's production needs and serve our employees’ interests,” Fischer said.
Sebastian Patta, Vice President for Human Resources, said: “While there was intense outside interest in this election, our managers and employees inside the plant maintained high quality production and continued to work together in a calm and respectful manner.”
“Our commitment to Tennessee is a long term investment. We look forward to continuing to work with the State of Tennessee and the City of Chattanooga to support job creation, growth, and economic development today and into the future,” Fischer added.