Skip to main content

See also:

Republcans and UAW in battle to win hearts and minds of Volkswagen workers

A classic labor vs GOP fight to the finish
A classic labor vs GOP fight to the finish
getty photos

Saturday update: The workers voted against joining the UAW.

The Volkswagen employees at the Chattanooga, Tenn. plant better think long and hard whether they want to unionize with their votes yesterday. It comes down to whether to join the United Auto Workers or not.

GOP leaders are determined not to let the union win without a fight.

A majority of Volkswagen’s 1,570 hourly workers voting “yes” means that the UAW has successfully organized a new group of workers for the first time in nearly 30 years of efforts.

Opponent Republican Tennessee Senator Bob Corker says, "This is all about money for them. They feel like, if they can get up under the hood with a company in the South, then they can make progress in other places. There's no question that the UAW organizing there will have an effect on our community's ability to continue to recruit businesses," he told the Washington Post.

Southern states are in a heated battle to retain their local jobs. Republican lawmakers are concerned that the UAW, trying to extract more lucrative incentives for their workers, will force large corporations to look elsewhere, as Boeing threatened to do in the State of Washington.

Not surprisingly, President Barack Obama, speaking during a closed meeting with U.S. House of Representatives Democrats in Cambridge, Md., was critical of obvious Republican efforts aimed at the union vote, Reuters reported.

Conservative groups have contributed massive amounts of money in an effort to keep Volkswagen workers in Tennessee and vote against the UAW.

National labor leaders, however, are hoping the decision will be a landmark victory.

Ironically, Volkswagen is behind union efforts to organize. They feel they can replicate a German-style works council, which allows companies to exchange data with employees and work together to resolve issues.

That may be a pipe dream the company has with American workers.

* If you have enjoyed this column, may I suggest you scroll down this page and press the SUBSCRIBE box? It's FREE. Thank you for your patronage.

** Send your comments to: dwight.schwab@gmail.com