UAW Wins Vote In A Landslide At VW Factory In Tennessee

CHATTANOOGA, TN – The United Auto Works has gotten a toehold in the South after workers at Volkswagen’s Tennessee plant voted 73 percent in favor of unionizing. The results released Friday night had 2,628 in favor and 985 opposed.

The landslide result will make VW’s factory the first foreign-owned facility in the South to unionize. VW workers in Tennessee rejected attempts to bring in the UAW in 2014 and 2019.

Union President Shawn Fain celebrated the win with union organizers. “You guys are leading the way. We’re going to carry this fight on to Mercedes and everywhere else,” he said.

Next up to hold a vote on unionization is a Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama. Five days of balloting by 5,000 workers, a majority of who have signed cards indicating their support for unionization, will begin on May 13.

A press release issued by the UAW provided insight into the thinking of workers at the VW facility in Tennessee.

“We saw the big contract that UAW workers won at the Big Three and that got everybody talking,” said Zachary Costello, a trainer in VW’s proficiency room. “You see the pay, the benefits, the rights UAW members have on the job, and you see how that would change your life. That’s why we voted overwhelmingly for the union. Once people see the difference a union makes, there’s no way to stop them.”  

Also commenting was Doug Snyder, a body worker at Volkswagen. “This is a movement for every blue-collar worker in America,” he said. “Our vote shows that workers everywhere want a better life on and off the job. Fair pay is important, but so is time with our families. So is a voice for safety in our plant. We’re looking forward to getting to the bargaining table with the company and winning a contract that makes things right at Volkswagen.” 

(Photos courtesy of VW)

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