Workers at Volkswagen in Chattanooga Overwhelmingly Vote for UAW Representation

Originally published in Labor Today

On April 17th, 18th, and 19th, a union election took place in Chattanooga, Tennessee at a Volkswagen plant involving over 4,000 VW workers. The election was held only four months after the United Auto Workers union publicly announced its plan to organize non-union automotive plants with both the UAW and VW deciding to forgo a pre-election hearing. The vote to join the UAW was counted at 2,628 votes in favor and 985 votes against, with 3,613 total votes out of 4,326 eligible voters, an over 80% employee turnout.

“We’re voting ‘yes’ to win a better life for ourselves and our families,” said Isaac Meadows, an assembly worker at the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant. “We need a say in our schedules, benefits, pay, and more. We’re proud to work at Volkswagen, but we also know the value of a voice at work.”

The UAW has attempted to organize the Chattanooga plant twice in the past with both elections failing to reach a majority and even filing a federal labor charge against Volkswagen citing union-busting and intimidation from management. UAW President Shawn Fain addressed non-union auto workers in December and has since helped organize drives at dozens of plants around the US including Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes, and Toyota. This is the first union election victory of the UAW since its contract win with Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis back in November 2023.