Update: 10pm: The workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee have voted NOT to join the United Auto Workers in a crushing defeat for the union who hoped to form a council with the Volkswagen management and help run the company – probably into the ground as they have in the past.
Volkswagen’s Chattanooga employees have spurned the United Auto Workers, rejecting two years of wooing by the Detroit-based union in a vote of 712 to 626.
The loss was announced late tonight.
Our Big Labor president is attempting to sway a vote for unionization in a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a right to work state.
He attacked Republicans for allegedly caring more about German shareholders than U.S. workers. The truth is that he cares more about Big Labor than the workers of Tennessee.
This union vote is more about getting a niche for the UAW in a right to work state than it is about the workers. Virtually every state in the U.S. South has passed right-to-work legislation that gives workers the choice of joining a union and paying union dues.
Local Republicans are very concerned that a vote for the union will impede growth in Tennessee and it will. They are not in the pockets of the UAW. Obama, on the other hand, bailed them out and contrary to what they claim, the automakers did not pay back $20 billion.
Republican U.S. Senator Bob Corker said VW could announce new investment in the plant if the UAW lost the secret ballot.
The union didn’t like that but they liked the President trying to swing the vote towards the union.
In the South, all foreign-owned assembly plants employ nonunion labor. This vote is a chance for the leaders of the UAW to save themselves. They destroyed Chrysler and almost destroyed GM and Ford.
The three-day vote of the 1550 workers will be over by 8:30 pm. We will announce the results here.
Volkswagen has invested $1 billion in the Chattanooga plant and they have another $7 billion set aside, mostly for Mexico. If this vote goes for the union, VW has threatened to pull out. Chattanooga could end up as another Detroit.
The UAW is down to 400,000 members from 1.5 million. The automakers support more than double the number of workers in retirement. It’s unsustainable.
Reuters has more information.