CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Gary Casteel, secretary-treasurer of the UAW, who heads the International Union’s Transnational Department, today released the following statement regarding Volkswagen's verification of the membership of UAW Local 42:
"We appreciate Volkswagen's timely response in verifying UAW Local 42’s substantial membership level, which exceeds a majority of workers at the plant.
“As anticipated, we surpassed the highest level under Volkswagen's new Community Organization Engagement policy, and the local leadership is ready to move forward with additional conversations with the company. As a starting point, UAW Local 42 will take advantage of the company's offer to establish biweekly meetings with Volkswagen Human Resources and the Volkswagen Chattanooga Executive Committee.
“In the initial conversations, the local union will remind Human Resources and the Chattanooga Executive Committee of the mutually agreed-upon commitments that were made by Volkswagen and the UAW last spring in Germany. Among those commitments: Volkswagen will recognize the UAW as the representative of our members. We believe Volkswagen made this commitment in good faith and we believe the company will honor this commitment.
“Additionally, the local union will present the Chattanooga plant management with the September letter of intent in which the Volkswagen Global Group Works Council expressed its desire for the Chattanooga plant to be a ‘UAW-represented facility.' With this in mind, we will be working toward the process of collective bargaining with the company.
“Looking ahead, a cornerstone of Volkswagen’s business model is employee representation and participation in the Global Group Works Council. Until now, Chattanooga has been the only plant not represented on the Global Group Works Council. Chattanooga finally takes part in the Volkswagen philosophy and culture."