Achtung: German Work Councils To Become UAW’s Future

Financial Times

Speed Read:

It is becoming more and more evident that the UAW needs a new organizing strategy for U.S. plants.

With the support of VW and successful experience in German auto plants, UAW has an opportunity to change American labor union strategy.

How These Work Councils Might Work:

  • Work Councils at VW may be the key to the future of UAW
  • VW will not approve investment in U.S. Plants without councils
  • Works Councils would bring workers & mgmt. together under German model
  • VW is working on a “Plan B” to introduce a Works Council in Chattanooga
  • Chattanooga is only VW factory worldwide with no formal way to represent workers
  • Need for a mechanism for “co-determination,” like Germany’s council system
  • Workers keen to work on a new seven-seat sport utility vehicle that VW plans
  • Introduction would be effort to restart sales growth in the U.S.
  • Intervention by politicians based on VW saying no more plants if unionized
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