UAW swiftly files for new union election at Volkswagen plant

  • May 22, 2019

The United Automobile Workers today refiled for a union election at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant hours after the National Labor Relations Board denied an earlier petition on procedural grounds.

“This afternoon, as soon it was able to do so, the UAW immediately filed a new petition, again seeking a vote among Chattanooga production and maintenance workers,” a UAW spokesperson said in a written statement.

The NLRB said it dismissed the earlier petition because it conflicted with a still-pending previous UAW effort to organize only maintenance workers at the plant. The UAW last month moved to withdraw its bid to organize that subgroup.

The NLRB today said that the union may seek a new election — one that would cover virtually all employees at the plant — by starting the process over again. The decision fell along party lines, with Republican member William Emanuel recused.

“Our dismissal of the petition is without prejudice to the petitioner’s right to immediately file a new petition,” the board wrote, “and any delay is solely due to its having filed its petition during the certification year.”

It’s unclear whether the NLRB’s Republican majority will pose future barriers to the unionization effort, or whether employees at the plant will agree to it. If approved, it would be the Chattanooga plant’s third vote in five years on whether to unionize.