Volkswagen places top labor official on board
G. Chambers Williams III, The Tennessean
Today at 4:22 PM
Perhaps signaling that Volkswagen is about to accept the United Auto Workers union into its Chattanooga plant, the German automaker has named its top labor official – global works council Chairman Bernd Osterloh to the board of directors of Volkswagen Group of America.After the VW workers in February narrowly defeated a bid by the UAW to ?unionize the plant, Osterloh vowed to keep the new SUV from Chattanooga ?unless a German-style works council was established.The automaker has such worker-management councils in nearly all of its plants worldwide; they allow salaried and hourly workers to help shape policies in the workplace other than pay and benefits."We are pleased that Mr. Osterloh has declared his willingness to play a concentrated role in shaping our U.S. strategy in the future," Volkswagen AG Chairman Martin Winterkorn said Monday. "He will represent the views of the workforce. This is in line with the co-determination culture of Volkswagen, which is one of our key success factors."