DETROIT (Reuters) -- The UAW hopes to be recognized as the exclusive bargaining agent for workers at Volkswagen Group's U.S. assembly plant in Tennessee within a year, union President Dennis Williams said.
That would mark the first tangible victory for the UAW at a foreign-owned auto assembly plant in the U.S. South, where it has long faced stiff opposition in its attempts to organize workers.
Williams, elected to a four-year term in June, told Reuters he had not set a specific target date for the UAW to represent hourly workers at VW's Chattanooga plant, in future talks about wages and benefits with the company.
He said "I hope so," however, when asked if the UAW would gain recognition to bargain for VW workers by the time contract talks with the three biggest U.S. automakers, General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Chrysler Group, begin next summer.
Williams said the UAW already has a majority of the 1,500 hourly VW workers in Chattanooga as members of its local union there. But it still needs to prove that to VW, in line with U.S. labor law, to win formal recognition as the workers' bargaining agent.