Could the USA’s first Works Council happen in Chattanooga? STRONGER… — Volkswagen Atlantic

22 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Could the USA’s first Works Council happen in Chattanooga? STRONGER… — Volkswagen Atlantic отключены
Volkswagen Atlantic

Could the USA’s first Council happen in Chattanooga?

week, workers at the Volkswagen in Chattanooga, Tennessee, have the to create labour movement and relations history by voting to set up the Works Council in the USA. If do, it could start a trend better workplace relations and involvement in European subsidiaries the US which might even into US-owned companies.

The shouldn’t be overstated. This is one car plant, after all. But as as changing the way the US has practiced industrial for well over a century, it also provide the basis for support for the Transatlantic Trade and Partnership (TTIP) or severely – fatally – undermine it. It isn’t unions on both sides of the pressing for this. When I leader of the Socialists and Democrats in the Parliament, Hannes Swoboda last week “can we use to extend the European right for to have a voice (eg works

councils) to the US?” he replied on

“That’s our aim – tell your trade unionists in the US!”

No then…

Volkswagen has a long of social partnership in Germany, as by Tim Page last year, and the has signed a Global Framework with global union IndustriALL. But like many companies with subsidiaries in the States, VW has adopted a more confrontational approach to unionisation This began to change year when US car workers’ the UAW initiated a joint unionisation  with German manufacturing IG Metall, including a joint office in Chattanooga to encourage car to join the union. IG Metall’s has been critical in encouraging a open approach to the UAW from the management in Tennessee.

This is an acid test for the . whose architects want it to go far than merely reduce (already low) between the USA and the EU. they argue for an ‘ambitious’ deal, they’re normally for consumer, environmental or worker to be watered down. But the AFLCIO and the want to see workers’ rights upwards . instead, and the right to a is the key demand.

The importance of this campaign has of course, been lost on of trade unions in the USA, the anti-union Republican Tennessee Senator Bob and several suspiciously well-funded advocacy’ groups (often run out of law firms, or funded by right-wing as the Koch brothers) up in Volkswagen’s management in Tennessee that the decision should be by the workforce without outside getting involved – the sort of neutrality you’d expect in but which is rare in the Southern US!


So, the workforce at VW in Chattanooga will this week with the of the world watching, as if they the electorate of an emerging economy or democratised state. They may be

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