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German union leader says fight to unionize Chattanooga Volkswagen plant not over

Frank Patta, the general secretary of Volkswagen's Global Group Works Council, told United Auto Workers members Monday that the German labor movement was still staunchly behind unionizing Volkswagen's Chattanooga, Tenn., plant.

The UAW was rejected by the plant's workers in a February vote, but Patta rallied the union, saying, "We have lost one battle, not the fight."

"We want a works council, an American works council. This is our joint vision. This is our dream," Patta told delegates to UAW's constitutional convention in Detroit. He spoke through a translator via a video hook-up from his native Germany.

Works councils are a common feature of European businesses. Under German law, they include top corporate and union leaders and have considerable authority over many company decisions. Volkswagen has them at almost all of their facilities but not the Chattanooga one.


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