Volkswagen Case Study
As part of your reading for this unit, you read the “Volkswagen wants the United Auto Workers” case study (Attached). Respond to the questions below in a 3-4 page paper. Be sure to include enough detail to provide context for your ideas and to demonstrate your understanding of these concepts. Also, be sure to include all necessary APA citations and a references page. Please submit your responses in a Microsoft Word document.
Summarizes current information about the case; provides further context and traces the milestones of the case.
Describes business objectives Volkswagen managers were trying to meet by allowing union organizing at the company; provides examples to support the objectives.
Provides an opinion and explains whether management should anticipate problems in collective bargaining with the union; explains the position by citing examples from the case study and current news about the case.
Writes in a scholarly manner by providing validation and scholarly evidence. Writing is free from grammatical and mechanical errors, adheres to APA style, is concise, and ideas are cohesive and logical.
Volkswagen wants the United Auto Workers
The United Auto Workers? failure in organizing the workers of Volkswagen?s
Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant was surprising because the election campaign
had been so unusual. It is typical for management to discourage a union, but
Volkswagen seemed to welcome the UAW to the plant, where 2,400 workers
assemble Passat sedans. The union had partnered with the IG Metall union in
Germany, where VW is headquartered and where union membership is an
accepted part of business. There, VW and IG Metall had a cooperative
relationship in which the workers served on a works council, a formal committee
that negotiates with management about how to handle production issues. VW
has similar arrangements in its other international facilities and hoped to set up
a works council in Chattanooga. Management believed this would require that
workers first belong to a union. In an unusual move, the company allowed UAW
organizers to campaign inside the factory.
In spite of this favorable context, the workers voted 712 to 626 against the
union in February 2014. While some workers were attracted to the idea of a
works council, others worried that the UAW?s presence would create conflict and
divisions. Some said they disliked the union?s support for political candidates
whose views they disagreed with.
The UAW?s initial response was to appeal the vote to the National Labor
Relations Board, citing interference from outsiders. The governor had said he
doubted the state would go ahead with plans to offer VW incentives for locating
in Chattanooga if the plant became unionized. Senator Bob Corker had said he
had information that VW would not build a second production line in
Chattanooga if the union vote passed. Conservative political groups posted antiunion billboards around Chattanooga. Believing these actions made the vote
unfair, the union asked the NLRB to order a new election.
But in another surprise, the UAW dropped the appeal two months later. The
union?s president at that time, Bob King, said he feared the appeal process
?could drag on for months or even years.? Ordering a new election could take
two years, whereas accepting the election?s results would allow the union to
campaign again in another year.
More surprises followed in July. The UAW announced that it had reached a
consensus with Volkswagen. The company invited UAW Local 42 to sign up
workers voluntarily, and the union would partner with management to set up a
works council. Local 42 would prioritize ensuring the company?s growth and
developing a training program for employees. That same month, VW announced
that it would expand the Chattanooga plant to build midsized SUVs, adding
about 2,000 new jobs.