UAW Drive Falls Short in Tennessee

Feb 17, 2014

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — TheUnited Auto Workers failed to unionize employees at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga last week.

The multiyear effort to organize Volkswagen's only U.S. plant was defeated on a 712-626 vote Friday night amid heavy campaigning on both sides.

UAW spokesman Gary Casteel decried what he called outside interference in the vote, but conceded defeat.

“These workers have stated their position and we respect that. So we’ll move forward from here and look forward maybe some day in the future to working with VW to establish a works council here.”

Senator Bob Corker was one of the UAW’s most outspoken critics in the months leading up to the vote. In a press conference following announcement of the UAW defeat, Corker compared the already unionized GM plant at Spring Hill, and the VW plant in Chattanooga.

“I have witnessed firsthand the culture inside Spring Hill, and I have witnessed firsthand the culture inside Volkswagen. They are worlds apart…just the atmosphere that people are able to work in and I’m thrilled for the employees.”

Corker hinted strongly during his press statements that VW would soon announce the expansion of the Chattanooga plant to accommodate the production of second Volkswagen vehicle line.

WMOT wishes to thank WUTC radio for making theCorker and Casteel interviews available