Tennessee Republicans showing true colors on VW plant vote

*Link to UAW/VW website

This week, workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee are voting on whether to join the UAW (Union of Auto Workers).  This vote comes with the support of the parent company in Germany, much to the chagrin of Republicans and Conservatives all across the South.  The Right is well-known for pushing the “Right to Work” laws that break up the unions and makes it harder for unions to organize.  Unlike the typical relationship seen here in the US, the German companies employ what’s called Work Councils.  With the Works Council, blue and white-collar workers sit on a board with the decision makers of the company in order to work together to move the company forward.

I wrote about this back when it first came about, and now it seems that Tennessee lawmakers are making threats at VW as a result of their siding with the UAW in this effort.

On Monday, Tennessee State Sen. Bo Watson, R-Chattanooga, said if VW workers vote to join the UAW, then “I believe any additional incentives from the citizens of the state of Tennessee for expansion or otherwise will have a very tough time passing the Tennessee Senate,” according to local news reports.

So much for letting the free market do its thing and decide what’s best for everyone.  If I were a member of Volkswagen executive management, I would tell that state Senator to keep his incentives as I move my plant somewhere else that respects my decisions to take care of my workers as they see fit.

If the company thinks it’s ok for the Chattanooga plant to have a Works Council, then why is elected officials doing everything they can to thwart the wishes of the company?  Does ideology trump bringing employment to your state?  That’s stupid as hell to think that way, but I’m not surprised at all that it’s happening.

For a bit of background information on VW’s Works Councils…

Volkswagen is being pressured by its Global Works Council, which represents workers at major VW plants around the world, to implement a works council system at the automaker’s lone U.S. assembly plant.

A German-style works council is different than the current labor setup of the UAW: Councils consist of a group of white- and blue-collar workers who meet with company management to discuss plant issues.

If a works council is approved, the plant would have a spot on the VW Global Groups Works Council.

Of VW’s more than 60 major factories worldwide, Chattanooga is the only one without a union.

It seems like VW is trying to bring the TN plant in line with the rest of the company, albeit with a bit of pressure from others in the company.  Republicans need to back off and let the company decide what’s best for them.  These elected officials don’t run the company, and this country is supposed to be all about freedom and such.  Why is it that people want to squash freedom when it runs contrary to their personal beliefs?

*Link to gopusa.com


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3 thoughts on “Tennessee Republicans showing true colors on VW plant vote

  1. If the union wants a vote, the workers want a vote, and the company wants a vote, it’s really nobody else’s business. As for the tax break thing, I don’t believe in tax breaks of any kind but once you’ve given them, you pretty much take whatever comes with it. If they didn’t have the foresight to see this coming, that’s their problem.

    Disclaimer In case anybody doesn’t know, my Daddy (now retired) has been a dues paying UAW member for going on 66 years. Even if he wasn’t, I would still have the same opinion. I believe that people should be just as free to not join a union as to join it, if that’s what they choose but in my experience, especially if they work for a large company, a union is the only protection a working man has.


    • Had to give a thumbs up to that one just on the first sentence. I’d also say that I wish all states did away with those tax breaks as that’s why most state finances are screwed up. Anybody willing to give away the farm just to land a cow or two shouldn’t be in the farming business.


  2. This is just total bs but unfortunately in our race to the bottom the incentives (giveaways) seems to e the norm and not going anywhere anytime soon.

    I can’t blame the individual who needs and accepts a job but what are the paybacks and payback periods for all of these giveaways?

    As for unions, I’ve never been in one but it is obvious that they have done a lot for many in this country for a lot of years. I don’t think they are the end all of end alls for all scenarois but they have worked for many gains that are now norms for pay and benefits even for people who don’t work in a union.

    If folks want to organize they should have that right without this kind of bs being placed over their heads.


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