Corker says ‘no’ vote against UAW will bring new vehicle to VW plant
February 13, 2014
Corker says ‘no’ vote against UAW will bring new vehicle to VW plant German automaker considering bringing new crossover vehicle production to Tennessee
By Lance Williams
By Lance Williams
Sen. Bob Corker said the equation is simple for Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga – a vote against the union this week means hundreds of new jobs and millions in new investment for Tennessee.
“I’ve had conversations today and based on those am assured that should the workers vote against the UAW, Volkswagen will announce in the coming weeks that it will manufacture its new mid-size SUV here in Chattanooga,” said Corker in a statement Wednesday evening.
He did not, however, indicate that a "yes" vote would send those jobs elsewhere.
For its part, however, Volkswagen continued to maintain a neutral stance, saying the vote will not affect the final decision on the new vehicle.
"There is no connection between our Chattanooga employees’ decision about whether to be represented by the union and the decision about where to build a new product for the U.S. market," said VW spokesman Scott Wilson in a statement to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Corker and other GOP leaders have been highly critical of the decision to hold the vote regarding whether the United Auto Workers union can organize workers at the plant. The company says it wants to create a German-style works council at the plant, but U.S. labor law requires that workers be represented by a union in order to create such a council. VW has similar councils at its other plants around the world.
The company has maintained a neutral stance to the vote. Anti-union groups have ramped up efforts in recent days to sway undecided workers, including placing billboards across Chattanooga with pictures of blighted areas of Detroit.
As for the crossover vehicle, the company has not announced when a final decision is expected, but that the Chattanooga plant is a finalist along with a facility in Mexico. The decision would likely mean a major investment in both equipment and the employee count in Chattanooga.