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Volkswagen Workers in Chattanooga Overwhelmingly Vote to Join UAW, Marking a Significant Win for Union in the South

Volkswagen Workers in Chattanooga Vote to Join United Auto Workers

Nearly 74% of Workers Support UAW in Historic Election

Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga overwhelmingly voted to join the United Auto Workers (UAW) late Friday, in a landmark victory that gives the union a strong presence in the historically anti-union South.

Decisive Majority in Favor of UAW

The final results from the National Labor Review Board revealed that nearly three-quarters of the workers, a total of 3,600 out of 4,326 eligible voters, expressed their support for joining the UAW in the three-day election.

Breaking the Stereotype in the South

With the outcome of the election, UAW has made significant inroads in a region that has traditionally shown strong opposition to organized labor. The victory is a resounding statement of the workers’ desire for greater representation and support in the workplace.

Outpouring of Support and Celebration

As the votes were counted, excitement and jubilation filled the air in the union hall at I.B.E.W. Local 175. Cheers, hugs, and the sea of red T-shirts symbolizing the victory were a testament to the workers’ determination and unity.

UAW President Congratulates the Workers

Shawn Fain, the President of the UAW, arrived at the hall to personally congratulate the Volkswagen workers. In his address, Fain expressed his admiration for their persistent efforts and their ability to challenge the conventional belief that unions cannot be successful in the South.

Supporters Defy Opposition

The victory comes despite strong opposition from a coalition of six Southern governors, who actively discouraged workers from embracing unionization. President Joe Biden responded to the governors, assuring workers of their right to form a union without fear.

A Major Win for UAW’s Southern Campaign

The successful unionization drive at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga is part of a wider UAW campaign to expand its membership in the Southern states. In recent years, a significant number of car manufacturers, both domestic and foreign, have shifted their presence to the South. This victory serves as a stepping stone for the UAW’s efforts to establish a stronger presence and improve conditions for workers across the region.

A Year of Triumph for UAW

Under the leadership of President Shawn Fain, the UAW has experienced a resurgence and positive outcomes. Their successful strike against major automakers in 2023 resulted in improved contracts for over 145,000 workers. This victory in Chattanooga further solidifies the progress and future potential of the UAW.

A New Day for Workers

The UAW’s ability to organize workers in the South will once again face a significant test in May, as employees at the Mercedes-Benz plant near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, vote on whether to join the union. President Fain views this victory in Chattanooga as only the beginning of a new chapter in the UAW’s efforts to advocate for workers’ rights and improved conditions.

This article was written by a regional reporter in the South for our news organization. Feel free to reach him at [email protected].

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