Labor

Workers Uninterested in a Union May Be Stuck as VW and UAW Talk

They'll have to live with the results

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CHATTANOOGA — If you're an hourly employee at Chattanooga's 5-year-old Volkswagen plant, brace yourself for a vote on whether to join the United Auto Workers union.

Since Tennessee is a right-to-work state no one can fire you for not joining the UAW and paying union dues, but you may give up some employment control if you don't participate.

Patrick Semmons, spokesman for the National Right to Work Foundation, describes those dangers.

"You will still be subject to any contract that the UAW agrees to. It doesn't matter if you don't like the contract or if you vote against the union or get a better deal on your own absent what the UAW is negotiating. You are stuck with it, no matter what. If you exercise your right to work you lose your ability to have even a limited say in the kind of contract that you will be subjected to," Semmons told Tennessee Watchdog.

Representatives from both the UAW and the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant confirmed they are talking with one another, but wouldn't provide additional comment to Tennessee Watchdog.