by Jeremy Moule
While the details of the arrangement would be ironed out after the election, works councils — which are elected by all workers in a factory, both blue and white collar, whether or not they belong to the union — usually help decide things like staffing schedules and working conditions, while the union bargains on wages and benefits. They have the right to review certain types of information about how the company is doing financially, which often means that they're more sympathetic towards management's desire to make cutbacks when times are tough. During the recession, for example, German works councils helped the company reduce hours across the board rather than laying people off, containing unemployment until the economy recovered.But we're talking about a factory in a southern state, where there is strong anti-union sentiment. Some of the factory workers oppose unionizing the plant, as shown in this Wall Street Journal article. And a group of Republican state lawmakers are threatening to do away with VW's state tax incentives if it sides with UAW, says a Detroit Free Press article published yesterday.