Volkswagen abandons neutrality with anti-UAW letter

The gloves are off in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Employees showing up to work recently at the country’s sole Volkswagen plant were read a letter from the company’s top management expressing their opposition to unionization.

The letter, a copy of which was obtained by Labor Notes, stressed that the company believes it can “achieve more” with workers through “open dialogue” than unionization. The letter also states that ”the company will hold special information sessions and provide additional communication in the coming weeks,” raising the specter of captive audience union-busting tactics. Workers said the letter also was posted around the plant.

The letter is a departure from the company’s communications to employees in the lead up to the 2014 election, which stressed collaboration with the union. In 2014, Volkswagen itself submitted the petition for an election, signed a 22-page election agreement with the union, and even voluntarily invited the union to speak to employees on the premises. The UAW lost that election narrowly by a vote of 712-626 following the interference of Republican politicians in the state.


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