VW to go to U.S. court to keep 160 Tennessee plant workers from UAW
This is a fascinating story as it is not the typical corporation vs union story. It is more European union vs American union as the European unions that have organized VW have 9 of 20 seats on the VW Board and the company does nothing without that support.
Previously, the VW Board had approved of UAW organizing the company, as a whole along the lines of how it is done in Europe with a “works council” comprised of employees, management and union representatives.
Of course the UAW is putting the best spin on it they can, that the UAW is actively pushing the idea, but, as always, it’s a people thing to get their foot in the door and then change things to suit the UAW’s needs, i.e. money and power
But the UAW wants to have it both ways, a Works Council and handle all collective bargaining like an American union because just being part of the Works Council cuts into the union power and ability to impose the union’s will.
The VW Board even greased the skids for the UAW to organize, saying to just go ahead, you don’t need a vote. The UAW wanted a vote and was rejected by the employee. The next UAW attempt at organizing (the skilled trades) was rebuffed by the Board (the euro unions) as, “not in the company’s best interests at this time” (must be a plant wide works council or nothing without UAW collective organizing).
The NLRB ruled in the UAW’s favor and the skilled trades voted in favor of UAW representation, but VW said “no”, they wouldn’t negotiate. The UAW said, “aw, c’mon, you have to negotiate” and that is where that stands . . . . till now, with the UAW stymied.
The UAW doesn’t have enough leverage to strike and make it meaningful and risks losing the skilled trades and alienating the Euro union VW Board members. VW is going to court to invalidate the UAW effort and the union is sitting there saying, to the VW Board, “aww, c’mon, give us this little piece so we can get our dues money and look relevant again”.
I would imagine the union members of the VW Board are sitting there shaking their heads wondering how the UAW stays in business since they greased the skids and the UAW blew it. Then the UAW didn’t listen when the VW Board said organizing the skilled trades was a bad idea and went against the company interests.
The UAW thought it could get it’s own way on it’s terms and turned a bird in hand into crow that they are eating. I think the UAW would better trying to organize the union representation on the VW Board. Even if the UAW wins the skilled trades battle, it will lose the war with the Euro unions. The Euro unions want to extend their influence into the US at the UAW’s . . . . and all US unions . . . . expense.
Union vs Unions, it’s like the comic, “Spy vs Spy”, except it is 9 vs 1.