VW Demand in Tennessee: Seat Labor at Table or No Expansion – No New Jobs

In March of 2009 Volkswagen (VW) came to Chattanooga, Tennessee. This was welcome news for the Tennessee economy and job creation. Volkswagen has been a good company creating thousands of jobs. The EPA recently honored them for being a leader in Green Power. VW America is the largest automotive maker in the US using solar power and the largest of any industry in Tennessee.

VW has created jobs which has been invaluable to Chattanooga. In March, VW announced they would add 800 to 1000 more jobs by the end of 2013 bringing the employment to 3500. They also want to have labor represented at the table and insist this must happen or they won’t expand their plant in Chattanooga.

A top global official for the VW works council says the group will block the automaker’s expansion in Chattanooga unless a labor panel is implemented. A German newspaper reported that VW Group deputy council chief Stephan Wolf said, “We will only agree to an extension of the site or any other model contract when it is clear how to proceed with the employees’ representatives in the United States.”

The Republicans and Chamber of Commerce have maintained that government should stay out of private business; yet, they are not doing so in this case. Their contempt for the American worker is obvious that their love of big corporations is stronger than their desire to keep government out private business. Both the Chattanooga Chamber and Republican Gov. Bill Haslam have criticized the effort to include labor at the table. Obviously the TNGOP war on labor continues.

It is refreshing to see a company display real corporate leadership and class.




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