Volkswagen


The workers of United States’ sole Volkswagen plant in Tennessee voted not to join the United Auto Workers (UAW). The UAW had hoped to unionize the United States Volkswagen plant because it was not repulsive to the idea of joining the Union.

The workers of United States’ sole Volkswagen plant in Tennessee voted not to join the United Auto Workers (UAW). The UAW had hoped to unionize the United States Volkswagen plant because it was not repulsive to the idea of joining the Union. Tennessee has held a reputation for being a non-union state for a long time. Unionizing Volkswagen may have a domino effect on other organizations and may turn Tennessee into a union state. However, unionizing may also necessitate punitive measures being taken against Volkswagen, which will be detrimental to its profitability. After analysis, I recommend increased lobbying to ensure that there is no interference from the legislature as the firm prepares for another election in a year’s time as from essay about marketing

Given the situation, I have established that there are three courses of action that may be taken with regards to the UAW vote. The first option entails appealing to the National Labor Relations Board for permission to a work council to represent the employees. The Council will perform the duties of a trade union and will also provide a platform for the workers and the management to interact. The expected positive outcome is that the work council is likely to work effectively since it has been tried and tested by Volkswagen elsewhere. The idea of a work council may also not face intense resistance from Tennessee because it is not an actual trade union. The employees would also have sufficient representation. The downside of the option is that it may strain the relationship between the firm and Tennessee leadership, comprising of a Republican senator and governor. Strained relationship may hurt the business, in the long run. Furthermore, the US labor laws make it hard to establish a union that does not have an external representation. Eventually, the exercise may end up futile because the Board may not approve it.

The second option is to lobby the state legislature and the governor not to enact punitive legislations as the firm prepares for another Union election. More lobbying should also be done to convince the politicians not to interfere with the internal affairs of the company. The upside is that Volkswagen would buy itself one more year to peacefully conduct its business. The company will also have more time to decide whether to unionize or not and whether to engage with UAW or with the other of its many rivals. The downside is that the pleas for non-interference may antagonize the Republican leadership. The legislature may end up enacting punitive laws against Volkswagen.

The last option is to inform the legislators that if they interfere with next year’s Union election the firm may have to relocate its manufacturing plant to another state. The shift will be implemented in a five year period plan and may result in reduced income tax for the state. The upside is that the employers will have another year to decide its employees’ fate, most importantly, without undue influence from the legislators. The firm will also have leverage against the state. The downside is that this move may antagonize the anti-unionization Republican leadership resulting in a less than conducive business environment. It may also be an expensive venture to relocate to another state.

After careful consideration, I recommend that the firm pursues the second option. The move will significantly reduce the chances of punitive measures against the company. Moreover, successful lobbying might also reduce interference on the issue. Reduction in interference will guarantee free elections during the next Union elections. Furthermore, it will have bought the organization more time to decide whether it wants to unionize or not. Since it is virtually impossible to form a work council in the United States, the best alternative to UAW would be the second option.

 

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