UAW nears breakthrough in VW organizing push

By Ben Klayman and Bernie Woodall, ReutersVolkswagen_4

The United Auto Workers union could soon get a big boost in its efforts to represent hourly workers at Volkswagen AG’s assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Horst Neumann, VW’s board member in charge of human resources, told reporters on Friday that the automaker was in talks with the UAW about setting up a German-style labor board at the Tennessee plant. It was an about-face for a company that has resisted opening the U.S. plant to the UAW.

UAW President Bob King, who has said organizing U.S. plants run by foreign automakers is crucial for the union’s survival, welcomed Neumann’s comments and the German system where labor has a say in how companies are run.

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