Complete News World

Opinion on American unions: VW in America: Persistence pays off

Opinion on American unions: VW in America: Persistence pays off

VW employees celebrate the vote they won.

Image: Image Alliance/dpa/AP/George Walker IV

A majority of VW's workers in Chattanooga, Tennessee voted last Friday to be represented by the UAW automobile union. The UAW is thus demonstrating that its expansion strategy is working. For decades it was thought that foreign auto manufacturers' unions would have no chance in the United States. It's not the first fact that UAW President Shawn Fine has denied with his fearless, combative approach: He's already refused to engage American manufacturers in collective bargaining agreements that no one thinks of. In the United States, social attitudes toward unions, which had retreated for years, are now changing. It doesn't happen overnight or without setbacks. In the low wage sector, the organization of employees is progressing slowly. Big, nationwide campaigns at Starbucks or Amazon have been a long time coming, though there are employee initiatives in many places.

But regardless of the regional and political situation, patient organizational work in various fields is slowly bearing fruit, and – this is especially encouraging. The result in Chattanooga, where the UAW lost ten years, shows that class struggle can sometimes be a real endurance game. This victory could be the first domino in the otherwise anti-Union southern states. As Fein is already gearing up for the next vote: the fight will continue at the Mercedes factory in Alabama in mid-May.

Become a member of the nd.Genossenschaft!

From January 1, 2022, »nd« will be published as an independent left-wing newspaper owned by staff and readers. Be there and support media diversity and visible leftist positions as a co-op member. Fill out the membership application now.

More information about