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United Auto Workers unionize on third attempt at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant

(WTVC) From News Channel 9: Workers in attendance for Friday's United Auto Workers (UAW) watch party feel they've made history.   And for


From News Channel 9: Workers in attendance for Friday’s United Auto Workers (UAW) watch party feel they’ve made history.


And for those Volkswagen employees who wanted unionization, the third time was the charm.


“I knew these workers here, I knew they were fed up, I knew they wanted a union,” said UAW President Shawn Fain.

Photo via WTVC.

In order to unionize, the UAW needed 50% plus one vote.


Both previous UAW elections fell short of this, with 2014’s election showing 47%, and 2019’s election showing 48%.


But Friday night, employees won by a landslide with the official National Labor Relations Board results reporting 2,628-985 votes for union representation.


Some who came to watch the vote were from other right-to-work states in the U.S., wanting to see similar changes back home.


“We get a win here in the south in Tennessee, that can mean big things for Texas. And that’s why I’m here,” said Tevita Uhatafe.

Tennessee Representative Justin Jones also showed support for unionization.

“To the other elected officials who are afraid of unions, I just want to say, don’t be afraid of people power. Don’t be afraid of people coming together to say we should be treated as human beings, that is what a union ensures” Rep. Jones said.

Late Friday evening, President Joe Biden released a statement congratulating workers at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant, saying in part:

“I am proud to stand with auto workers now as they successfully organize at Volkswagen.”

And Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp, who spoke out against UAW, also issued a statement via Facebook Saturday morning, saying in part:

“Now that the UAW won in Chattanooga, I hope they will at least learn from our success as they try to overcome their reputation for job corruption and job losses.”

Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly supported the workers’ choice in a statement on Facebook Saturday, saying in part:

“I’m hopeful that this new era of leadership at the UAW works in good faith with Volkswagen leadership to build a better Volkswagen and a better Chattanooga, for the benefit of all of us.”

Employees will now begin the bargaining process with the union.


Volkswagen thanked its Chattanooga workers for voting in the election.