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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