Daily Labor Report®

Senators Unimpressed With Volkswagen’s One-Page Inquiry Response

June 3, 2019, 8:48 PM

Three U.S. senators criticized Volkswagen‘s response to their inquiry of the company’s union election conduct at its Chattanooga, Tenn., plant.

The inquiry came after the company delayed a petition from the United Auto Workers to organize approximately 1,700 workers at the facility.

The company wrote a single-page, three-paragraph response to questions from Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). The lawmakers had asked the company to answer 11 questions in the initial May 21 letter.

A senior public relations executive wrote the correspondence on behalf of North American President and CEO Scott Keogh, to whom the initial letter was addressed. The PR executive said that workers have a choice in representation but “unions and governmental agencies should follow proper legal procedure concerning elections.”

“While I appreciate that VW responded to our request, I’m disappointed the automaker failed to provide answers to the concerns we raised and question VW’s claim that it is neutral on UAW’s upcoming union election at the Chattanooga plant,” Peters said in a statement.

Stabenow said the response was “not enough,” while Brown urged the company to prove its neutrality by going out of the way to protect workers from anti-union intimidation.

A union election is now scheduled for June 12, 13, and 14, in Chattanooga.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Wallender in Washington at awallender@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Nadel at snadel@bloomberglaw.com; Terence Hyland at thyland@bloomberglaw.com

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