Employee representatives of Volkswagen are talking with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union over organisation of workers at the new Passat plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a German newspaper reported.

“For VW, it is a matter of course that its employees are unionised,” Handelsblatt daily quoted VW global works council head Michael Riffel as saying, according to Reuters.

He did not say whether the VW workers in Chattanooga could be organised under the UAW umbrella.

“That decision is up to our colleagues in the United States,” Riffel was quoted as saying.

Handelsblatt said that VW’s German works council head Bernd Osterloh, German union IG Metall’s head Berthold Huber and UAW President Bob King have met several times.

King said earlier this year that the future of the UAW likely depends on whether it can unionise factories in the United States run by foreign companies.

The UAW believes that without organising plants of Asian and European companies it can no longer safeguard pay for US auto workers.