United Auto Workers gets OK for union vote at Tenn. plant

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The National Labor Relations Board has granted the United Auto Workers petition for a union vote for skilled trade workers at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee.

The NLRB on Wednesday turned back objections by the German automaker that the maintenance workers shouldn't be allowed to negotiate union agreements separately from the remaining 1,200-member production team. There are about 162 skilled trade workers at the plant, making up about 12 percent of the total blue-collar workforce.

The two-day vote has been scheduled to begin Dec. 3.

Groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce decry efforts by unions seeking to create smaller collective bargaining units as being the labor equivalent of political gerrymandering, where the most favorable lines are drawn to gain entry into businesses where the total workforce might oppose union representation.