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United States: Volkswagen employee representatives and the United Auto Workers union unite to facilitate organizing in the Chattanooga plant

King’s task in organizing in Tennessee will be made easier by a “Declaration on Social Rights and Industrial Relationships at Volkswagen” signed by the company, the International Metalworkers Federation (IMF) and the VW Group Global Works Council. Article 1.1 of the Declaration reads: “The basic right of all employees to establish and join unions and employee representations is acknowledged. Volkswagen, the unions and employees representatives respectively work together openly and in a spirit of constructive and co-operative conflict management”, while Article 2.1 says: “The employees of Volkswagen will be informed about all the practices and the provisions of this declaration. Within the context of the respective plant practice, unions or existing elected employee representatives will have the possibility to inform the workforce together with representatives of management.” “For Volkswagen, it’s a matter of course that its employees are unionized,” Michael Riffel, the head of the global works council was quoted as saying by Handelsblatt. “The decision is up to our colleagues in the United States.” Guenther Scherelis, a spokesman for the Chattanooga plant, added:  “One of Volkswagen’s core values is the basic right of employees to have a voice in the company…We work hard to provide an environment that fosters teamwork and collaboration. If our employees feel the need for it, any decision on representation belongs to them.”

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