The UAW broke its pledge to cease organizing activity at the Chattanooga auto plant that rejected unionization, announcing on Thursday afternoon that it would form a voluntary union for factory workers.
Workers at the Tennessee Volkswagen plant rejected the labor giant’s bid to form the first auto union in the right to work state in February. The union signed a neutrality agreement with the German auto manufacturer that gave organizers an advantage during its campaign.
However, that agreement also contained a provision barring the union from any organizing activity for one year following the vote.
The union decided to break that pledge on Thursday, announcing the formation of a new local that would allow workers to join voluntarily.
“Earlier this year, the UAW was gratified to earn the confidence and support of many Volkswagen team members,” said Dennis Williams, president of the UAW. “At that time, we said we would not give up on these committed and hard-working employees. We’re keeping our promise.”