Take That, Bob Corker: VW Chattanooga Has UAW AND SUV

Oh, my! Major Tennessee Republican FAIL: On Friday, the United Auto Workers established a local union to represent workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga.

Today Volkswagen announced the Chattanooga plant will manufacture VW’s new SUV line, a move expected to bring some 1,350 jobs to Tennessee.

Suck on that, Bob Corker.

(For more on this, read here, here, here and here.

[UPDATE]:

Trying to make lemonade out of this huge bag of lemons they’ve been handed, right-wingers are saying there’s no way that Volkswagen will ever recognize the new UAW local in Chattanooga. Really? I beg to differ:

First, the February vote was a narrow loss — 53 percent to 47 percent — and the result showed strong support among workers, despite heavy opposition from outside groups and Tennessee legislators.

Second, the UAW said it already had signed cards from a majority of the workers prior to the election, saying they favored representation.

I have no doubt in my mind that the UAW would have won that February election had it not been for outside interference from the likes of Sen. Bob Corker and right-wing cheap labor groups.

I suspect that unionization, like Obamacare, is one of those things people actually like once they’ve lived with it for a while. That’s when they realize it’s not the path to ruin/Fascism/Socialism/FEMA death camps they’ve been told it is by the Fox News crowd but, in fact, something that actually benefits people. And that’s why Republicans like Bob Corker and Bill Haslam have been shitting bricks over this VW plant for the past year.

34 Comments

Filed under Sen. Bob Corker, Tennessee, Tennessee politics, unions

34 responses to “Take That, Bob Corker: VW Chattanooga Has UAW AND SUV

  1. OMFG! It can only be a matter of time before we find out that what they’re RILLY makin’ over there in Chattanooga is teh FEMAdeathcampvanz!!

  2. Also, Goddamned activist NAZIZ!

  3. Mary Wilson

    YES! Thanks, SB, and even if workers are taught to hate unions, this will still open the door for all thise in cfhattanooga!

  4. CB

    Ok, I’ve never belonged to a union, so forgive me if I get this wrong, but here’s how the whole thing reads to me:

    VW is either building or expanding a manufacturing plant in TN. VW supports its workers having union representation when negotiating with THE COMPANY (not the state or local gummint). Politicians said that was a no-go.

    I mean, wtf? When did these airbags start working for VW?

    • That’s about it. VW WANTS a union, in fact, being a German company, they are by German law required to have some form of representation at all of their plants and the fact that the TN-US plant does not have a works council (not allowed under US labor law) or union has been a big problem for them. German companies have labor representation on their boards of directors so this issue has been raised. VW wants to work with the union and Bob Corker and Bill Haslam stuck their big fat noses into and threatened to withold any incentives to expand the Chattanooga plant if the VW plant unionized. Meanwhile, Corker told the news media that if the UAW got approved in Chattanooga there would be all sorts of scary things happening (cue Psycho strings/billboards of bombed-out Detroit, etc.)

      It was quite shameless.

  5. @cb:

    “bags” the are, just not airbags.

    Oswego, NY has one of the only U.S. Novellis plants that is NOT unionized. There was a union up/down vote in April (USW–IIRC) and, just before the vote, a company poobah announced that the company might have to close the plant if the union was voted in. The vote failed by about 4% (and part-timers, which the company has a lot of and who will NOT be in the union were allowed to vote). The Feds are now investigating said poobah for violation of labor laws. If they have a revote, I suspect it will go badly for the company.

    Oh, btw, the “plant might be closed” warning was about a plan that they’ve invested over $300M in for new lines to make aluminum for Ford trucks to help them meet CAFE standards, through weight reduction. Not only would the company be throwing away the money they just spent, they would be getting reamed by Ford’s lawyers for non-performance.

  6. Reblogged this on While you were sleeping and commented:
    Today Volkswagen announced the Chattanooga plant will manufacture VW’s new SUV line, a move expected to bring some 1,350 jobs to Tennessee.

    Suck on that, Bob Corker.

  7. Kevin C

    Some people here are shockingly gullible. Clearly the UAW has known about this since April, when they quietly withdrew their complaint against Corker to the NLRB at the last minute. The complaint alleged that he lied about the Chattanooga plant getting a new vehicle in order to influence the election. Now, five months after rejecting unionization, the workforce at the plant is nearly doubling because of a new vehicle that was originally slated to be built in Mexico was switched to Tennessee. Coincidence? If you think so, please contact me about a bridge that I’m trying to sell. It’s very cheap.

    Establishing a local union is absolutely pointless except for PR reasons. VW will not recognize or bargain with them until a majority of workers have agreed to their representation, hence why they had an election at the beginning of the year (which is what all the hullabaloo was about). To call it a Republican fail is laughable because the rest of the world is watching the UAW wipe the egg of its face.

    • I haven’t read anything saying the SUV was originally supposed to be built in Mexico — a union plant, I might add — and it was switched to Tennessee. Every story I read said VW was trying to decide between the two plants. And they wanted, even needed, some kind of labor representation in Tennessee. They had offers but no deal was struck.

      The egg is on Corker’s face as far as I’m concerned. He lied about how VW would “reward the state” with an SUV expansion if they voted down the UAW, and he kept saying VW would make its announcement “immediately, within a two week period” of the UAW vote. It’s been how many months now? Corker very nearly cost this state 1,350 jobs. Republican incompetence at its finest.

      Time will tell whether VW recognizes the UAW. Despite fearmongering and well-funded misinformation campaigns from RW groups they nearly won the vote this spring. Now they’re there, anyway. That’s a helluva an investment to end up still fighting the same battle. All the UAW needs is to sign up a majority of workers to get recognized.

      I find it amazing that our Republican politicians are so attached to their ideology that they’d actually go against the wishes of VW on this one and interfere to the near detriment of some needed jobs.

  8. Won’t the Right spin this as proof Corker/Haslem were right? BTW…Any Tennesseans besides me see the Lamar Alexander add during the World Cup Sunday in which he was quoted as being right about how Obamacare would raise premiums?

    • They’ve been running that Lamar Alexander add for weeks now, wish someone would get PolitiFact on that one. Premiums go up EVERY year, always have, ObamaCare kept them from going up as much as they would have without it.

  9. @Kevin C:

    “Establishing a local union is absolutely pointless except for PR reasons. VW will not recognize or bargain with them until a majority of workers have agreed to their representation, hence why they had an election at the beginning of the year (which is what all the hullabaloo was about). To call it a Republican fail is laughable because the rest of the world is watching the UAW wipe the egg of its face.”

    Gee, I don’t know you Kevin C., so I’ll try to be gentle.

    “No unions means” no benefits. “No unions” means no protections for worker’s keeping their jobs in times of economic contraction. “No unions” means no paid vacations, holidays or a 40 hour work week.

    If you’re ignorant of these and other facts about what unions are for, educate yourself.

    If you’re some liberpublican asshole, fuck off.

    And, yes, I’m being gentle, because I don’t whether you’re a fucking dope or a fucking shill for the TN GOP.

    Go talk to Jimbo from Memphis, he’s your kinda guy.

    • Jim in Memphis

      ““No unions means” no benefits. “No unions” means no protections for worker’s keeping their jobs in times of economic contraction. “No unions” means no paid vacations, holidays or a 40 hour work week.”

      Gee I have had all of those benefits and I have never worked for a union. My dad had all of those benefits and he never worked for a union. How could this possibly happen?!? Maybe someone needs to inform all of the non union companies that they are doing something wrong by offering good salaries and benefits to their non union workers.

      • You don’t work in a factory, that’s how it would happen, dumbass. Try getting a blue collar job and see how it works, Mr. “I’m a small business owner”

    • Jim in Memphis

      I worked at a chemical plant before my current position and that was also a non union facility. All of the hourly workers had paid vacation, health insurance, 40 hour work weeks, paid holidays or if they were working then they were paid holiday pay, etc. Again, it did not take a union to get those benefits.

  10. Jim in Memphis

    Luckily TN is a right to work state so even if the majority of workers choose to join the union, state law prohibits the union from forcing the other workers from joining. With that being the case, as long as the union thugs are not allowed to force membership, I see nothing wrong with the UAW setting up shop for those too stupid to keep their own money instead of paying dues.

    • So you’re in favor of freeloaders enjoying the benefits of union
      membership without actually paying for them? Good to know! Because that’s what so-called Right To Work means. Typical conservative, reap the rewards of someone else’s efforts.

    • Jim in Memphis

      I am in favor of people being able to work where they want without being forced to pay dues to some third party. The notion that I would need someone else to tell me whether or not my working conditions, pay scale, or benefits package was acceptable or not is ridiculous. I would support a change in the law that would allow for a company to offer different pay scales and benefit packages to non union members if they wanted. I would also support a change in the law that requires unions to represent all employees whether or not they are members – that is just stupid. People that feel they need to collectively bargain should be free to do so. Companies that do not want to collectively bargain should be free to do so as well. If they cannot get enough people to work then they will either go out of business or agree to the union terms.

      • You’re a lying sack of shit, Jimbo. Tell me the name of the chemical company you worked for and where they were located and I’ll find out WHY they gave you great pay and benefits and it won’t be because they were great humanitarians..

        “I would support a change in the law that would allow for a company to offer different pay scales and benefit packages to non union members if they wanted.”

        I would support a change in the law that would allow armed mobs to take over the plants of people who treat them like shit while living on the fruits of their labor.

        Gosh, I hope that doesn’t sound too extreme.

        “I would also support a change in the law that requires unions to represent all employees whether or not they are members – that is just stupid.”

        WTF? You don’t want unions but you want them to represent you? Go fuck yourself.

      • Jim in Memphis

        Sorry I typed the second one wrong. Currently the law requires unions to represent all employees whether or not they are members. This is stupid. The unions should only have to represent their members and this is the change in the law that I would support.

        I worked at a company called CPS in West Memphis, AR. It has since been purchased by Ciba Specialty Chemicals. Apparently Ciba was recently purchased by BASF. The local number for the plant I worked at is (870) 735-8750. Feel free to call and ask if they have a union, what benefits they offer employees, etc. Things may have changed since 1998 when I left there.

      • “Currently the law requires unions to represent all employees whether or not they are members. This is stupid.”

        No what is stupid is your willful ignorance — despite the fact that it’s been repeatedly pointed out to you — that there is a REASON for this. And that REASON is that unions negotiate on behalf of ALL workers, not just their own members. Do you enjoy a weekend? Thank a union! DO you enjoy workplace protections, like not being exposed to toxic chemicals and that chemical factory where you allegedly worked? Having proper protective gear? Thank a union! These are things afforded to EVERYONE and those who are not paying union dues are FREELOADING off those who do. Seems like a staunch conservative such as yourself would object to FREELOADING seeing as how y’all constantly disparage the poor as such.

  11. “Gee I have had all of those benefits and I have never worked for a union. My dad had all of those benefits and he never worked for a union.”

    Freeloadin’ Jimbo, a liberpublican gasbag at his finest.

    You don’t support unions, but you reap the benefits of your father working in an environment where, BECAUSE of unions at SOME companies, OTHER companies raised wages and gave benefits to KEEP their workers from unionizing. Hence, moron, UNIONS got you and your daddy the benefits that you have without you lifting a fucking finger or paying dues. I bet that makes you so proud to be a guy who’s all about hardwork, bootstraps and personal responsibility. You fucking fraud.

    I never can tell with you, Jimbo, whether you’re a cynical, whining piece-of-shit republitarian or that you’re just too fucking stupid to tie your own shoes.

  12. Randy

    Does Jim run the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory?

  13. GregH

    Sorry for this long post, but my $0.02 on unions. When I was a kid, my dad worked as a machinist at a copper and aluminum tube plant in Alabama. He worked 3rd shift 7 days a week to make extra money. The plant was dirty, loud and you froze in the winter and baked in the summer. But he worked about 15 years there. When a GM plant opened nearby, lots of his coworkers took jobs there, but he stayed on out of loyalty and because he worried about the UAW coming into the new plant. Then one day he found out that the 3rd shift janitor at the GM plant made more money than he did….and a few days later, a couple of machinists on day shift died while trying to re-light a furnace. My dad applied for and got a job as a tool sharpener at the GM plant. It was a less skilled job than his training as a machinist, but it payed well. This GM plant was the only non-union plant GM had in the US. After several attempted elections that the UAW narrowly lost, GM management got tired of the constant irritation and accepted card-signing and declared the plant UAW represented. My dad had been offered a couple of promotions to salaried positions over the years, but turned them down because he didn’t want the headaches. But now, he asked about a promotion to salaried to “get away from the UAW.” He got the job, worked for several years, did well, and eventually was promoted to manufacturing engineer – and did well there too. A few years later, the job spec was revised so that he had to have an engineering degree to have that job. The company offered an “up or out promotion” to a different mgmt job at a GM plant far away – assuming naturally he would quit. However, a clause in the UAW contract required them to offer him his old hourly position back. He went back to his original job as a tool sharpener – a VERY experienced and totally over-qualified tool sharpener – but the UAW, which he always hated had saved his job. He has since retired and battled a very serious illness making full use of the excellent health benefits the UAW negotiated. He never says anything bad about the UAW now.

    • Great story, thanks for sharing.

      I love my Tea Party friend who said he was briefly a member of a union at some plant up in Clarksville somewhere and griped how “the union never did anything for me,” and then later in the same conversations tells me how he got an injury and thanks to the (union-provided) medical and disability benefit, he got the medical care and disability he needed so he wouldn’t go bankrupt while getting healthy again. But the union never did anything for him. Riiiight.

      This is what I say about unions: Try it, you’ll like it!

  14. A number of unions/union members&officials have been guilty of criminal misconduct over the 130 or so years that they have been a part of the U.S. labor landscape. Some of them, especially certain locals of the Teamsters and UMW have been involved in conspiracies to defraud, harass and murder people–usually other union members. Some of the unions have gotten into bed with organized crime (although it was usually initiated by the OG guys). Yeah, it’s happened.

    NO union has ever engaged in the wholesale slaughter of its members or management during a labor dispute, something that U.S. Mine owners and Henry Ford did do. Unions are the only voice that most workers really have to address workplace inequity and unfair labor practices.

    Now that Jimbo is a self-made $250K/annum sorta guy he be hatin’ on teh unionz. He also hatez on social safety nets. Some people would call him a republican; I call him a selfish prick and a clueless asshole.

  15. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. The business owners have on many occasions made use of local, state or federal LE agencies to safeguard their property from “union thugs”, I can’t think, off the top of my head, any instance when a union received such gummint largesse, to protect their pickets or other people who joined with them in solidarity; but somehow that still makes the unions, “takers”.

  16. Mary Wilson

    And wading through this discussion, I call your attention to the front page of the Knoxville News Sentinel Business Section, 7/16: It shows Lying Senator Corker, back to camera, hugging the President/CEO of VW, celebrating the decision by VW to build the new SUV in Tennessee. EVEN tho’ VW supports union labor and workers councils in every other country, our Right to Work Governor and Haslam lied, threatened, accused UAW of all sorts of ‘crimes, etc.’ And not mentioned at all is the Fact that the UAW IS creating a UNION there where workers can voluntarily join!
    I attended a conference here ( TN Workers: Dying For a Job) presented by Jobs for Justice and religious organizations on Workers dying on the job here in Tennessee, workers who did not have access to unions or any protections/safety/security or death benefits for their families. In 2012 and 2013 the numbers are disgraceful: 167 men and women killed by preventable accidents! And there are probably more, not counted and hidden by company ‘reporting’. And the disgraceful part of the story: Companies and the TN Dept of Labor did very little to compensate the survivors/families for the loss of these hard-working citizens. One family waited 2 years to receive a total of $7,000 for the loss of the family breadwinner. And I know about the UMWA in Appalachia, It has lost its power, recruiters have been killed, and the last mine explosion cost 29 lives, and that criminal company had been charged and documented to have over 120 safety violations. Of course the company kept the union OUT..

    • And it’s all so that assholes like Jimbo can forget (or never trouble themselves to find out) that because of unions his and his daddy’s jobs were safer, better paying and had fringe benefits. And now that he’s got hisself a nice little company he will be GODDAMNED sure to keep any union activity well away from his place.

      • Jim in Memphis

        I think it would be hard for the 3 other people here to find a union that would represent them. Is there even a union for professional engineers? Maybe I should create a shadow union, start charging the employees union dues and negotiate paid vacation, sick leave, and health insurance for them – oh wait, I already offer all of that and more without the union. Think I could convince them that they need to pay union dues to my shadow union?

  17. “Is there even a union for professional engineers?”

    You are such a fucking dolt.

    http://www.ifpte.org/about/

    http://www.unions.org/union-benefits/articles/how-to-start-a-union.html

    Go ahead and print out the pdf’s that they offer for organizing a union and give ’em to the help.

    I worked in a non-union office with two other people. We signed the union card and since it was unanimnous we got in in about six weeks–Just in time for a strike that cost me two weeks pay. Being in the union protected me for almost two years from a vicious swine of a supervisor.

    “Maybe I should create a shadow union, start charging the employees union dues and negotiate paid vacation, sick leave, and health insurance for them.”

    Do that Jimbo, please do that and then let us know whether the tennis or golf is better at whatever Country Club Convict Center they send you to. Fraud, Jimbo, it’s an ugly word.

    “- oh wait, I already offer all of that and more without the union.”

    Well, Jimbo, since you’re on record as being somewhere between not giving a fuck about to actively hatin’ on teh poor, there’s gotta be some reason other than fear of not being able to retain decent employees that motivates such an awesomness on your part.

    Go ahead and let ’em organize, Jimbo, I’m sure that your confidence of their continued bootlickin, even’ if they don’t have to will be justified.