Volkswagen Employees Now Subject to UAW Mail at Home

Posted on Friday, May 2nd, 2014 at 2:08 pm - Permalink

Volkswagen employees recieved a distrubing letter from Region 8 Director Gary Casteel on April 21st. To read the original letter please reference Below is the response formulated by some of the workers to Casteel.

Mr. Casteel,

We recently received a letter from you (addressed to our homes) stating that you have asked Volkswagen to award us the planned SUV and that your "goal has not changed".  (click to see letter)

However, in August 2009 the UAW submitted a letter to the Foreign Trade Zone Board opposing our jobs in Chattanooga.  In the letter the UAW expressed its desire to stop "any potential increase in income and employment in Chattanooga..."(page 2).  (click to see FTZ letter)

For the past year the UAW has also implied that we wouldn't get expansion in Chattanooga without the UAW and a Works Council.  Bob King even said, "If I was a worker....and I wanted to have the best chance of getting new investment and new product, I would want a voice on the World Employee Council" (Automotive News, June 24th, 2013).  

Mr. Casteel, how can you say your goal has not changed?
In the past ten years, the UAW has lost so many things for the employees they represent.  Overtime on nights and weekends, overtime past eight, pensions, free insurance, the eight hour work day, cost of living adjustments, just to name a few.  The UAW has even agreed to two-tier pay!

Just a quick glance at UAW's own Facebook page shows how disgruntled your members - even supporters -  have become. (click here to visit) Now the union wants to increase dues?  In the letter addressed to our homes (we don't remember giving you our address, by the way) you blame Senator Corker and Governor Haslam for your failure to unionize Volkswagen.  What a joke - we live in a modern world with information at our fingertips.  You can no longer blame other people and hide from your own failures.
In the neutrality agreement your union signed with Volkswagen (the one we the employees had no say in) the UAW agreed to delegate its exclusive bargaining privileges to a Works Council (Pages 3 &11). (click here to view)

However,  according to section 9(a) of the NLRB handbook this is illegal.  The handbook goes on to say that "it is illegal for an employer to bargain with individual employees, with a group of employees, or with another employee representative".  (click here to view)

Can you explain to us how exactly we were to have a German-style works council if the UAW were elected?   The union also agreed in the neutrality document to discontinue all organizing activities at the Chattanooga Plant for one year if you lost the election (pages 11 &12).  (click here to view)

And you lost the election.

So why you are still sending us letters?  Looks a lot like "organizing activity" to us.  Can we not trust you to honor a simple agreement?  You stood in front of all the Volkswagen workers before the election and refused to answer any questions. Are you going to answer our questions now?

Tell us, Mr, Casteel: What is it about the word "NO" that you don't understand?
The Team Members of Volkswagen in Chattanooga who voted NO 
May 1, 2014