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Volkswagen-Chattanooga: Life After the UAW Vote
What's next for Volkswagen?
Everybody is still talking about the close defeat the United Auto Workers Union suffered at the company's only factory in America.
The issue of employee representation at V-W is not dead however. In fact last Friday's narrow "No" vote almost guarantees an alternative that the company is considering on its own.
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said he understands that Volkswagen believes an American-style works council is a competitive advantage for the company.
"They're the ones who make the cars, not me," says Mayor Berke. "I think they're going to continue to find what works for them."
Volkswagen Chattanooga Chief Executive Officer Frank Fischer made it clear after the vote last Friday night that what works for the company instead of the U-A-W, could be a committee of employees working with management on the day-to-day operations of the factory.
It is based on the works council that V-W has at its plants in Germany and around the world.
"Our goal remains to determine the best method to establishing a works council that serves our employees' interests and Volkswagen-America's production needs, in accordance with U.S. law," Fischer said at the news conference after the vote last Friday.
Right now, U-S law is the issue. Works councils are illegal in America, unless the V-W workers vote in a union.
Although they passed on the United Auto Workers Union, industry watchers like Sean McAlinden with the Center for Automotive Research say other unions could court the Volkswagen workers. However McAlinden questions whether a union OR a works council would be better than a top-notch, human resources department.
"I don't think you can allow a council to make changes in job descriptions, occupations, pay, holidays, personal time issues, things like that."
McAlinden said in his opinion, right now the Volkswagen workers would be best served to let the issue of works councils and unions rest for a while, giving both sides a chance to weigh any and all options.
The next big announcement for Volkswagen could be where its new S-U-V will be built. Chattanooga is being considered for that, along with V-W's huge facility in Mexico.
By Calvin Sneed
More Business News
Last Update on September 16, 2014 07:30 GMT
ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal Reserve policymakers begin a two-day meeting to set interest rates today, but today's one major economic report isn't likely to spur them to raise rates.
Labor Department releases the Producer Price Index for August this morning. The index rose just 0.1 percent in July, and in the past year, prices at the wholesale level have risen just 1.7 percent, slightly below the Federal Reserve's target.
TRUMP PLAZA CLOSING
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- Atlantic City is down to eight casinos today with the closing of Trump Plaza.
The casino at the center of the Boardwalk and the end of the Atlantic City Expressway has been declining for years, performing worse than any of the city's other casinos.
It joins the Atlantic Club, the Showboat and Revel, each of which has closed this year.
And the contraction might not yet be over: Trump Plaza's parent company is threatening to close its sister casino, the Trump Taj Mahal, in November.
The closings are mainly due to growing competition in nearby states in the saturated northeastern U.S. gambling market.
Atlantic City began the year with 12 casinos.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Alibaba now plans to raise up to $25.03 billion in its upcoming IPO, making what was expected to be the biggest stock market debut even bigger.
The Chinese e-commerce company says it plans to sell 368.1 million shares at $66 to $68 apiece, according to a regulatory filing. Previously it had set the range for $60 to $66 apiece.
Alibaba has emerged as a hot commodity because of its e-commerce bazaar, a shopping magnet for businesses and consumers alike as China's economy steadily grows. The company's network of sites includes Taobao, Tmall, and AliExpress, as well as Alibaba.
Alibaba has been meeting with potential investors over the past week, and demand spurred the increase. Alibaba is expected to start trading later this week under the ticker `BABA' on the NYSE.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) -- BP Alaska, a major player in the state's oil industry, is planning to lay off 275 employees and contractors early next year.
Spokeswoman Dawn Patience says the business in Alaska will be smaller due to the previously announced sale of interests in four North Slope oil fields to Hilcorp.
Patience says the layoffs, combined with the 200 individuals who have accepted jobs with Hilcorp., represents about 17 percent of the total number of BP employees and contractors in the state.
The company's regional president, in announcing the sale in April, said it would allow for BP to focus on maximizing production from Prudhoe Bay and advancing plans for a major liquefied natural gas project. BP is working on the latter with the state, Exxon Mobil Corp., ConocoPhillips and TransCanada Corp.
CHICAGO (AP) -- United Airlines says it will offer flight attendants up to $100,000 in severance if they leave the company.
The lump-sum payments will be offered in order of seniority to some of United's 23,000 flight attendants.
United and the Association of Flight Attendants announced the deal on Monday.
United says the early-outs will help it match staffing to its flight schedule and produce a labor contract with the union.
Airlines and other companies have used early-out bonuses to entice employees to leave voluntarily. If enough employees accept, it can reduce or avoid layoffs and remove senior, more-expensive employees from the payroll.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The National Labor Relations Board is finding against the CNN cable television network in an 11-year-old labor dispute, ordering the network to rehire or compensate about 300 workers and former workers.
The NLRB agreed with a November 2008 ruling by one of its administrative judges that CNN improperly replaced a unionized subcontractor, Team Video Services (TVS), with in-house non-union staffers, claiming "anti-union" bias.
The board gave CNN 14 days to rehire the former TVS employees for "their former positions or, if those jobs no longer exist, to substantially equivalent positions."
It also told CNN to pay bargaining union employees for any adverse tax consequences that may result from the lump-sum reimbursements.
A CNN statement said the network disagrees with the NLRB decision and is evaluating options.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York's attorney general is trying to stop a manufacturer from discontinuing its drug widely used to treat Alzheimer's patients. He argues the manufacturer is illegally driving patients to its newer patented drug to avoid losses from cheaper generic alternatives coming out next year.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (SHNEYE'-dur-muhn) alleges both anti-trust and state law violations in the federal suit filed Monday in Manhattan against Dublin-based Actavis PLC and New York subsidiary Forest Laboratories.
The manufacturer has announced plans to withdraw Namenda, which generates more than $1 billion in annual revenues, and convinced 40 percent of patients and prescribing physicians to switch to newer Namenda XR.
Schneiderman says the company is "manipulating vulnerable patients" to protect profits.
The company says its new drug, taken once daily instead of twice, is better.
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