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Why the unionization of Tennessee Volkswagen workers matters

UAW members celebrate their victory at Volkswagen on Friday night (UAW)
UAW members celebrate their victory at Volkswagen on Friday night (UAW)

On this edition of Your Call's Media Roundtable, we discuss the historic win for auto workers at Volkswagen Plant Chattanooga, Tennessee,

On April 22nd, According to results posted by the National Labor Relations Board, 73%, or 2,628 workers at the plant that produces the German brand's Atlas SUV and ID.4 electric vehicle voted in favor of the UAW and 23%, or 985 opposed.

In an article in the Guardian, veteran labor journalist, Steven Greenhouse writes that the vote in Chattanooga was the first union vote in the UAW’s ambitious $40m campaign targeting 13 automakers, including VW, Mercedes, Tesla, BMW, Toyota, Nissan and Hyundai, with a total of 35 non-union plants across the US.

Workers at a Mercedes Benz factory in Vance, Alabama will vote between May 13 and May 17 on whether to join the United Auto Workers union

So does this victory signal a major shift in favor of unionization at other foreign car manufacturing planes in the US? And how did the media cover this historic victory for labor unions?

Guests:

Steven Greenhouseformer labor reporter for the New York Times, senior fellow at the Century Foundation, and author of Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present & Future of American Labor

Mike Elk, labor reporter and co-founder of Payday Report

Resources:

Payday Report: With 70% UAW Support, Mercedes Fires Plant Manager – Volkswagen & UAW Agree to Contract Talks

The Guardian: Volkswagen ‘the first domino to fall’ after union vote, says UAW president

The American Prospect: After Ten-Year Battle, a Younger Generation Leads the Way at Volkswagen

CNN: The anti-union South is starting to crack

Malihe Razazan is the senior producer of KALW's daily call-in program, Your Call.