The crusade by anti-union forces in Tennessee, including the state’s governor and senior senator, is as much a fight with Volkswagen management as with the UAW.
Not only are Republican legislators accusing Volkswagen of backing the UAW, some of their leaders on Monday threatened to withhold tax incentives for future expansion of the three-year-old assembly plant in Chattanooga if workers vote this week to join the UAW.
About 1,500 workers will vote from Wednesday through Friday in an election that the National Labor Relations Board will conduct.
The company plans to expand in Chattanooga or at a Mexican plant to produce a midsize SUV. Overall, Volkswagen intends to invest about $7 billion in North America over the next five years to achieve a goal of selling more than 1 million Volkswagen and Audi vehicles in the U.S. by 2018.
“It has been widely reported that Volkswagen has promoted a campaign that has been unfair, unbalanced and, quite frankly, un-American in the traditions of American labor campaigns,” State Sen. Bo Watson, R-Chattanooga, said in a statement sent to the Free Press. “Should the workers choose to be represented by the United Auto Workers, then I believe additional incentives for expansion will have a very tough time passing the Tennessee Senate.”
This is an open, bald threat made by bullying Republicans. They are apparently threatening to hurt Volkswagen to the point of making them take the 1500 Tennessee jobs and move them to Mexico rather than have them vote to be represented by the UAW as auto workers.
This is what Republicans do with power. Just like Chris Christie, just like Scott Walker, just like this. They punish those who they don't agree with every chance they get. Because if they vote to be represented by a union, which is something Volkswagen is okay with, being a German company that has trade unions and recognizes their benefits, then the workers at the Chattanooga plant must be destroyed, their jobs destroyed, their livelihood destroyed.
They are the party of fear and hatred, period. Republicans destroy.