US union vote won't affect VW plans

 US union vote won't affect VW plansVolkswagen, the world's third-largest automaker, which is considering  whether to make a new SUV in Mexico or Tennessee, shocked Southern union rivals by engaging in talks with the United Auto Workers about creating a German-style "works council" at the Chattanooga, Tennessee plant.

Today a top German labour leader who has expressed support for a works council labour board at Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant had a meeting with some employees and managers at the factory.

Employees said, Bernd Osterloh, who heads VW's global works council, met both top managers and selected workers.

This afternoon, Osterloh is supposed to meet Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam in Nashville. He may also meet U. S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.

Osterloh, had scheduled a visit in October, but had to postpone his meetings due to  plane trouble in Germany. He was accompanied by a couple of other supervisory board members during his visit.

The purpose of Osterloh's visit have been described differently by different people.

Osterloh had articulated to German media this summer that he wanted to talk to some Tennessee Republicans about their opposition to United Auto Workers representation at the plant.

He had mentioned at that time that he was willing to engage in "confidential talks" with Republican U. S. politicians who are worried about a works council set up at VW's Chattanooga plant.