News Release

UAW Launching Union Wave?


MIKE ELK,, @MikeElk
With Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga recently voting to join the United Auto Workers, Elk, senior labor reporter for is available for interviews. He is the only labor reporter in the country who covered all three UAW elections at Volkswagen in Chattanooga in 2014, 2019, and 2024.

Labor was previously defeated in the last two UAW elections; Elk says that workers at Volkswagen, following national trends, were much more receptive to the union.

Writing in the American Prospect, Elk explains, “In two prior union elections in Chattanooga, the UAW was unable to move the needle enough to win, losing the first time, 626-712, and on a second try in 2019, 776-833. The U.S. remained the only country in the world where Volkswagen workers were non-union. Things began to change in 2022, when Volkswagen expanded the plant to produce the all-electric ID.4. In the process, the company hired over 2,000 new workers. With labor shortages throughout the manufacturing sector, many of the workers hired by Volkswagen were much younger and more diverse. Some had even moved from more pro-union parts of the country to work there. While in the past, Volkswagen workers, who had less experience with unions, were skeptical of the bureaucracies of the scandal-tainted UAW, younger Southern workers seemed more receptive to trying something new.”

He said today: “Following a wave of pandemic-inspired strikes that changed attitudes about unions, UAW may be launching a historical unprecedented union wave across the country.”