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This major unionization vote at a Volkswagen plant could be a turning point for organized labor

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The United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) has been trying to organize employees at internationally owned auto plants in the American South for decades. Automobile manufacturing, historically centered in Detroit, was also historically heavily unionized. But when foreign car makers, like Volkswagen and Toyota, began to expand their manufacturing operations to the U.S., they opened their plants away from Detroit, in the south. Many states in the South have “right to work” laws that make union organizing and operating a union more difficult.

The UAW, which organizes the Detroit-based plants, has been working to change the paradigm in Southern plants since foreign companies began establishing a presence there in the 1990s. They have not meet with success. Five years ago, a unionization vote at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga that was seen as a bellwether for the future of the effort ended with workers rejecting the decision to join the UAWW by a 727-626 margin.

But right now, they have a chance to reconsider that outcome. From June 12 to June 14,........

© Fast Company