Auto union may establish ‘works council’ in Tennessee to bypass objections

If unions aren't popular in the South and if you can't convince Southerners to form one at an automobile plant, then can you just call it a works council instead? 

Guenther Scherelis, spokesman for Volkswagen's Chattanooga factory, confirmed to Tennessee Watchdog that the United Auto Workers union is talking to them about possibly establishing a presence there. 

Right now, those talks revolve around whether or not UAW should form what has thus far been known as a European-style works council. 

According to Patrick Semmens, spokesman for the National Right to Work Foundation, no U.S. automobile factory has a works council. According to most definitions, such a council is composed of employees representing a workforce in discussions with their employers.

Depending upon whom you ask, a works council is also one of two other things -- either a prelude to forming an actual union or, as Semmens puts it, no different than already having one. 

"I definitely think that that is part of what is going on here. You look at Michiganand Detroit and the big three automakers there and that is not something that is a good product to sell to workers in Chattanooga, or the South, so they are trying to come up with a different sales tactic," Semmens said. 

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