The United Auto Workers surprised even its biggest backers in Tennessee Monday morning when it suddenly withdrew its objections to a failed union vote at Volkswagen.
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The offer letter said the union vote had to work “to the satisfaction” of state leaders.
A formal vote has now been scheduled, and workers at Volkswagen’s Tennessee plant will decide through a secret ballot whether to be represented by the UAW. The union initially hoped the German automaker would accept signed union cards from a majority of employees.
The Tennessee-made Nissan Altima and Volkswagen Passat have both received the highest crash test rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Not appearing on the closely-watched list is the top-selling Toyota Camry, which performed poorly in a new part of the test.
Legislation that’s up for what could be a final vote in the General Assembly Thursday would close some records in Tennessee’s agency whose job is bringing jobs to the state. While the Department of Economic and Community Development’s push for privacy has raised some alarm bells, even open government advocates concede some need for confidentiality.
For the second year in a row, Business Facilities magazine has ranked Tennessee as the top state for Automotive Manufacturing Strength.
The United Auto Workers plan to keep things cordial with Volkswagen in Chattanooga. The union began talks with the German company last week.
Tennessee’s newest automaker is having its best year in company history. Volkswagen is reporting more than four million vehicles sold in the first half of this year. And last month, sales increased nearly 12 percent over the same period in 2010.
Volkswagen has been producing cars at its new plant in Chattanooga for just over a month, but Tuesday the German automaker held an inauguration.
Franklin-based Nissan North America had it’s best February ever, selling more than 92,000 cars and trucks. That’s an improvement of nearly 32 percent over last year.
Volkswagen unveiled the car it will build in Chattanooga today at the North American International Auto Show. As the new VW Passat sedan rolled out in front of car executives and auto journalists, people held signs that spelled “jobs.”