UAW Playing the Long Game, Ready for the Short Game at VW in Chattanooga

by Wade Rathke

workscouncilChairman of Volkswagen announced in Germany with the Tennessee Governor and US Senator Bob Coker from Tennessee hanging on every word, that the company will add 2000 workers, spend $600 million adding a new SUV line at the Chattanooga plant, and collect $166 million from the State of Tennessee in tax and other subsidies as well as $12 million in lagniappe to throw at job training for the new workers. On this score everyone can agree, but after that confusion reigns.

Senator Coker, speaking for the red-meat, union haters in the local and statewide business community, when asked for his reaction to both the plant expansion and news recently that the UAW had opened an office, chartered a local, and was hunkering down in its ongoing effort to unionize the plant, snarled through an office statement, “Any union can rent space in any city and open an office.” Well, that’s good to know, Senator? The Governor seemed more rooted in the emerging reality and praised the workers and the fact that the VW decision was a vote of confidence in them.

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Volkswagen workers call for an end to outside interference

United Autoworkers

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Volkswagen workers from the Chattanooga, Tenn., facility called for an end to the interference in their election by outside special interest groups and politicians. The workers will vote in an election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Feb. 12–14, 2014. Following the election announcement, special interest groups like the National Right to Work Committee, and Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform launched an intense campaign in Chattanooga, aimed at swaying the outcome of the vote.

“We feel very fortunate that Volkswagen has committed to remain neutral and let workers make this decision on our own,” said Volkswagen worker Chris Brown. “But it’s really unfair that people who don’t even work at Volkswagen are trying to influence our vote.” Continue reading