VW Labor Chief to South: Get Unions or No More Deals
Union in Germany will block moves
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Feb 19, 2014 12:20 PM CST
In this July 31, 2012, file photo, robotic arms weld the interior of a Volkswagen Passat sedan at the German automaker's plant in Chattanooga, Tenn.   (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig, file)

(Newser) – The head of Volkswagen's General Works Councils in Germany is threatening to block any further investment in the southern United States, Reuters reports, after workers at VW's Chattanooga plant voted against union representation. "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,' Bernd Osterloh said. "We as workers will hardly be able to vote in favor" of one.

Osterloh blames US conservatives for stirring up "massive anti-union sentiments." He serves on a 20-member supervisory board split evenly between workers and management that could block future investments unless Chattanooga gets a German-style workers' council. VW would still like to create a council without the United Auto Workers union, the New York Times reports, but legal experts say that might violate federal laws against company-controlled worker groups. Some anti-UAW workers have offered to set up an alternative union to get around the problem.

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Feb 24, 2014 6:28 AM CST
Your stupid union did not put me threw school nor did it educate me or teach me 2 skilled trades.It's obvious you need someone to hold your hand to get ahead in life, does your union wipe your azz for you too? I'm done wasting my time responding to fools like you.
Feb 21, 2014 9:11 AM CST
1. Those statements are merely political posturing. It is a right to work state. The majority of the employees decided they didn't need a union to represent them. They are already paid very well and treated well. They don't need to start paying union dues that will only handicap the company from maximizing profits and staying in business. God love those southern workers that still have pride in their hard work ethics, discipline, independence and self reliance. 2. As a manufacturing engineering manager for 35 years in the "Midwest" (union states), let me tell you what they voted against: a) Work rules that let a union member with some idle time tell a supervisor, manager or salaried engineer: "That's not my job." when asked to work in another area to help keep production on schedule. b) No competition between workers trying to do the best job they can do. c) No cross training so union members can't be placed on different jobs as production needs change. d) Writing "grieveances" because another worker or engineer or supervisor "did their job." They want to slow walk their job and be protected if someone else can step in and do it better. e) Protection from being fired for theft, absences, misconduct, playing cards while on the clock, etc In a right to work state, they can be fired on the spot with little recourse and their co-workers would say: "Good riddance". In a union shop state the union protects them regardless of their conduct. f) Limiting robots and automation that would reduce the workforce and improve the company's productivity and bottom line to stay in business and survive against worldwide competition. g) Promotions based primarily on seniority, not whether you are the best worker for the job. 3) Let's see if this little happening does anything to their sales in America. Personally, I'm betting that those union workers that still have a job as well as laid off and unemployed union workers better step up and buy their products. The current regime in Washington may help them or never buy their products to try to tip the scales. Further, this old fart knows a few small business owners that accidentally drop resumes of those with union job experience in the waste basket. They mostly start with a bad attitude. They select from other resumes because they have 50-100 more that will appreciate their new job and work their tails off so the company stays in business and ensures they and their progeny will have a job in the future. The UAW in the Midwest will never see their children and grandchildren working and making their $25 per hour plus $25 per hour in pension and paid health insurance benefits. Note that that was the rates at least 5 - 10 years ago! Get a clue. Why do you think VW built that plant in the South in the first place? Regardless, this writer will surely never consider buying VW products, whether new or old. What goes around comes around buddy. Peace, WLeoB, Canton, MI
Feb 20, 2014 11:40 AM CST
Why any intelligent human would be against a UNION , mainly because republicans lobbied against it , is pretty sad . It's telling everyone that you can't think for yourself . Just remember without UNIONS there would not be a Middle Class , no paid vacations , no paid Holidays , no pensions , no Social Security , child labor would still be here , decent working conditions wouldn't exist , decent wages wouldn't be here . So you better take a more intelligent look at UNIONS . Without Unions , the company can pretty much do whatever they want . Republicans don't want UNIONS because they want to attack & eliminate all these benefits , just watch how they are going after Social Security & Medicare & Medicaid . They do not have your best interest at heart . They only care , how much they can give the rich by eliminating all the benefits . The big one , there would be no Healthcare . You better realize , it was UNIONS that fought for & got all these benefits . No company will give any of these to you out of the goodness of something they haven't got , a heart .