[JURIST] German automaker Volkswagen (VW) [corporate website] on Thursday appealed the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) [official website] decision to support union representation for workers at the VW plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The United Automobile Workers (UAW) [union website] in December won the right [Reuters report] to represent 160 of the plant's 1,500 workers and planned to negotiate wages and benefits with VW. The automaker argued that it could not support the UAW's efforts because all of its workers should vote on union representation as a group. The matter was subsequently brought to the NLRB, and VW had stated outright its intention to appeal an unfavorable decision. German metalworkers union IG Metall [corporate website], a supporter of the UAW, has called on VW to respect labor laws and cooperate with the UAW immediately.
VW is facing legal difficulty around the world over allegations that the automaker misled customers in relation to the significantly higher nitrogen oxide emissions being produced by its vehicles. On Thursday the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission [official website] sued [JURIST report] VW for misleading customers to believe that the vehicles were environment friendly and complied with Australian and European standards and regulations. In August a district court in Germany ruled [JURIST report] that a collective complaint against VW may move forward. Like US-style class-action lawsuits, the collective complaint was launched on behalf of multiple investors who lost money following the diesel emissions cheating scandal. In July a judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of California gave preliminary approval [JURIST report] to a $15 billion settlement between VW and the US Environmental Protection Agency, California officials and consumers. In June VW agreed [JURIST report] to spend up to $14.7 billion to settle allegations of cheating emissions tests and deceiving customers in a settlement with US regulators. In March the Federal Trade Commission filed suit [JURIST report] against VW for false advertising.