UAW: Majority at VW plant have signed union cards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A top United Auto Workers official says a majority of workers at Volkswagen's assembly plant in Tennessee have signed cards favoring the union's representation in creating a German-style works council at the plant.

Gary Casteel, a Tennessee-based regional director for the UAW, tells The Associated Press that the cards include a statement about wanting to join VW's Global Works Council and supporting cooperative and collaborative relations with the company.

Casteel says the cards are as legally binding as an election by the workers at the plant in Chattanooga.

Union representation at Volkswagen would signal a sea change in labor relations among foreign automakers who have resisted unions at their plants in the South.

Sen. Bob Corker told The Associated Press in a phone interview Tuesday that he was dismayed when VW last week sent a letter to employees regarding its discussion with the UAW about creating a German-style works council at the Chattanooga plant.

The Tennessee Republican said he hopes Volkswagen pulls back from what he called an "incomprehensible" decision to engage in talks with the UAW. Corker played a large role in persuading VW to build its lone U.S. assembly plant in the city where he was once mayor.

Corker said the Southeast would become less attractive to foreign automakers if the UAW gains a foothold.


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