Vielen Dank, Volkswagen. Ich liebe dich!
Volkswagen came to Chattanooga in March of 2009 with much fanfare and hand-outs from the State of Tennessee. So far, they have been a pretty good company creating thousands of jobs and caring about a sustainable environment. The EPA recently honored them for being a leader in Green Power and LEED certified. VW America is the largest automotive maker in the US using solar power and the largest of any industry in Tennessee.
Jobs Volkswagen created have been invaluable to the Chattanooga area. In March, VW announced they would add 800 to 1000 more jobs by the end of 2013 bringing the employment to 3500. They also wish to have labor represented at the table. VW insists on this or they won't expand their plant in Chattanooga.
From today's Chattanooga Times Free Press:
Volkswagen plant expansion hinges on acceptance of panel, German labor official says
A top global official for Volkswagen's works council says the group will block the automaker's expansion in Chattanooga unless a similar labor panel is put into place at the factory.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 having a voice is greater than their love of big corporations. Hard to imagine? NOT.
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 Chattanooga Chamber and Republican Gov. Bill Haslam have criticized the effort, saying the UAW isn't needed.Vielen Dank, Volkswagen.
Updated: at the bottom of the page of Chattanooga Times Free Press is a poll asking "Should Volkswagen unionize to expand in Chattanooga?" You know what to do :)
Vote bottom of the page here: Times Free Press