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Sunday, July 22, 2018

by Paresh Dave, Los Angeles Times

Turning more than 1,500 painters, inspectors, tradespeople and maintenance workers at a Tennessee auto plant into union members was supposed to be relatively easy for the United Auto Workers union, experts on organized labor said.

The effort would have created the first union at a foreign-owned automaker in the historically anti-union South — and raised the morale of a union that has seen membership plummet from 1.5 million in 1979 to 380,000 last year.

But 53 percent of workers at the three-year-old Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga rejected a unionization bid, giving pro-union autoworkers from Michigan to Mississippi a reason to squirm and providing what experts said was the latest sign that conservative efforts and the threat of job losses were crippling U.S. labor unions.

UAW officials suggested that they may challenge the 712-626 loss, announced late Friday after a three-day vote. UAW President Bob King quickly blamed the “deeply disappointing” defeat on “unprecedented interference” by Republican politicians and political groups who said unionization would result in Volkswagen losing state subsidies and pushing production of a new crossover vehicle to Mexico instead of Chattanooga.

Workers who voted to unionize said they were sold on promises of job security and a louder voice at Volkswagen headquarters in Germany. They expressed frustration that fellow workers were apparently scared off by the threat of lost jobs — and that 165 workers declined to vote at all.

The lead opposition group warned that the UAW would generate disaster, pointing to struggling Detroit automakers and their workers, who had to accept stinging concessions because of the companies’ financial troubles.

“The UAW tried to promise significant wages, and I think that was shown as a simple, unfillable campaign promise,” said Maury Nicely, an attorney involved with the anti-union effort. “I like to think information got out to the employees, and they saw what was going on was just all false promises.”

The defeat in Chattanooga “significantly diminishes” the UAW’s chances of forming unions at any of the 10 or so foreign-owned auto factories in the South, said Art Wheaton, an automotive industry expert at Cornell University’s Worker Institute. Since 2011, similar unionization efforts were launched at Nissan plants in Tennessee and Mississippi, Mercedes-Benz in Alabama and BMW in South Carolina.

Many labor experts were stunned by the result because Volkswagen did not publicly oppose the UAW’s effort and has had an amicable relationship with labor organizations for some time.

The Chattanooga plant, which produces the Passat, remains Volkswagen’s only major facility worldwide without a labor organization. And a company official said after the vote that the company remained committed to finding a way to bring a so-called works council to the facility.

Under such a system, union officials negotiate compensation and big-ticket items while leaving it to a group of local workers –the works council — to formally discuss day-to-day issues with managers.

John James, a longtime management consultant for German companies and now a professor at Pace University in New York, said that at German companies an office as small as 11 employees elects a three-person works council.

63 Responses to UAW May Challenge Loss At Volkswagen Factory In Tennessee

  1. It should not come as a surprise to the union or anyone else that the anti-union forces campaign worked yet again. Those workers in the South have been fed a steady diet of anti-union twaddle for decades. I find it difficult to understand why 160 something workers did not bother to express themselves one way or the other. Without their votes we still don’t know what the majority really wanted.

    • Great post!! This campaign capitalized on the southern white SLAVERY business model…..and I posted a background article on how it was done…

  2. This is one of the oddest and most disturbing stories that I’ve ever read in the National Memo. This company was completely neutral and had a long, successful history of work councils and unionized work forces around the world. This is part of VW’s corporate culture. This should have been strictly a private decision among the employees, as Volkswagen had no problem with whatever their decision was.

    On what possible basis did Republican politicians have, to get so heavily involved in this? They’re not supposed to be involved in these matters under any circumstances, and especially not under one like this. They’re actually telling Volkswagen AG how to run their business and telling private citizens how to vote. That they would financially threaten one of their precious “job creators” if the vote went the wrong way is just mind blowing and nothing short of it.

    One of the many hallmarks of a free society is the ability of men and women to come together, organize, and collectively bargain with their employer. That is a must and that’s not an exaggeration. There are societal structures that have traditionally banned labor unions outright. They’re called fascist and communist regimes.

    Whatever reasonable grownups are left in the Republican party had better take a good, long, hard, look in the mirror and ask themselves where in the hell they’re going as a political movement. Where exactly are they headed and what’s the end game? They’re starting to get scary.

  3. Not only are Republicans behind shipping American jobs overseas, now it seems they are doing their best to drive out any foreign companies that presume to locate in the U.S.

    • You can blame this anti union mentality on Ronald Regan, he is the one that made possible for companys to keep unions out when he fired all the Air Controllers and hired replacement workers. and the reason behind this anti union movement is because the unions have always supported the Democratic party as they (the Democrats) have always supported workers rights and pushed for workers safety. the Republican party didn’t like that the unions supported the Democrats in elections with there PAC money. so they set up there own PACs, and now the supreme made it legal by saying that companys are people. which makes it legal for corporations to dump bundles of money into the Republican party, who in turn passes legislation in favor of companys and corportions. that is why republican politicans have put so much effort into this election. which our elected politicans have NO business sticking there noses into an election which is between the employees and the company, especially when the company has no problem becoming a UNION Company. in fact from what I have read, it sounded like the company had NO problem with the employees becoming union.
      Look what happen in Wisconsin. Scott Walker and the Republican legislators terminated the states bargaining agreement with the state workers under the bullshit that the state was broke, and by doing away with the union agreement they were going to save the state from going bankrupt, then turn around and give companys and corporations major tax breaks! all on the backs of the working people!! when will the people of this country wake up and do what’s right for this country instead of what the supper rich want! which is two classes of people THE RICH AND THE POOR!!

  4. “There are just two kinds of workers in this world, those who have a union and those who need one.” – John Dreher, 1971

  5. All these anti-union republican thugs who have convinced these folks that the union would be detrimental to their interests and to the middle class of this country are relying on the fact that we as a Nation are enormously misinformed and/or ignorant of the workings of the world outside the U.S.A. One needs to look no further than this situation in order to see that. Germany has a strong and vibrant working class, low unemployment and highly profitable industries. They are also highly unionized. Tennessee is one of the poorest States in the nation. It has high unemployment, a weak and crumbling working class, and struggling industry. They are not unionized. Kind of shows how pathetic their argument is. More importantly however, it shows how pathetic our misinformed and narrow world view is, because these workers needed to look no further than VW’s nation of origin to see the union model in full effect and how well their economy works with it.

  6. I’m sorry to say the Union lost again to the GOP, the lies and cheating by the GOP knows no bounds, when is the 99% going to wake up to their tactics, the GOP comes out and tells them they are worthless and still they give them their support.

  7. You also have to stop and remember that this is Marsha Blackburn and Bob Corker country. Or as it’s known locally, The Flat Earth Society. What? Me worry? When it comes to middle Tennessee, thare’s an old, old saying:
    You can’t fix stupid!

  8. This happens because we let it! Be it unions or anything the GOP deems “wrong”!! It will keep happening until there is a major change in the American people’s way of just accepting this nonsense figuring we can’t fight city hall so to speak!!

  9. This anti-labor campaign was one waged by the GOP to instill hysterical fear of job losses into auto workers if they wanted to unionize….This campaign capitalized on the southern white SLAVERY business model.

    There is an awesome article about this campaignof fear by columnist, Roger Bybee, that is a must read.

    Quote from article:

    “The UAW’s majority support eroded under a sustained fear campaign that spooked enough workers into believing the union would cost them their jobs. In an unusual twist, the fear factor was injected into the Chattanooga vote not by Volkswagen, which maintained a stance of neutrality under pressure from the German union IG Metall. VW actually expressed willingness to set up a “works council” with the UAW in Tennessee, which would have given workers a stronger voice at the Chattanooga facility………But anti-union public officials, business groups and rightwingers stepped into the election, seeing a UAW victory quite correctly as a threat to the entire Southern economic model. This Southern model, of a submissive and tightly controlled, non-union workforce that fights for low wages while local governments stay almost exclusively focused on doling out lavish corporate subsidies, has become a dominant U.S. corporate export, now popular in China, Mexico, and the rest of the global South………….The task of scaring Chattanooga workers was embraced by Tennessee Republicans, including Senator Bob Corker, Governor Bob Haslam, state legislative leaders and rightwing groups like Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform. Their key message: A union victory at VW would mean the loss of future SUV jobs to Mexico (which VW forcefully denied), setting Chattanooga on an inevitable downward slide into “another Detroit.”

    more here:

    http://progressive.org/fear-driven-campaign-crushes-tennessee-union-vote

  10. Yay! The people have spoken. It just means the company is on the up and up and keeping them happy and mostly EMPLOYED……. The unions have had their purpose but, of late, are way out of hand….

    • Unions are still needed especially in right to work states like Tennessee as the workers at the Nissan plant are finding out the hard way. They voted against Union and now finding their jobs being turned into part time jobs and losing their benefits because their jobs are now part time and Nissan can get away with treating them this way because there is no job protection at the Nissan plant because they voted against a union.

  11. This anti-labor campaign was one waged by the GOP to instill hysterical fear of job losses into auto workers if they wanted to unionize….This campaign capitalized on the southern white SLAVERY business model.

    There is an awesome article about this campaignof fear by columnist, Roger Bybee, that is a must read.

    Quote from article:

    “The UAW’s majority support eroded under a sustained fear campaign that spooked enough workers into believing the union would cost them their jobs. In an unusual twist, the fear factor was injected into the Chattanooga vote not by Volkswagen, which maintained a stance of neutrality under pressure from the German union IG Metall. VW actually expressed willingness to set up a “works council” with the UAW in Tennessee, which would have given workers a stronger voice at the Chattanooga facility………But anti-union public officials, business groups and rightwingers stepped into the election, seeing a UAW victory quite correctly as a threat to the entire Southern economic model. This Southern model, of a submissive and tightly controlled, non-union workforce that fights for low wages while local governments stay almost exclusively focused on doling out lavish corporate subsidies, has become a dominant U.S. corporate export, now popular in China, Mexico, and the rest of the global South………….The task of scaring Chattanooga workers was embraced by Tennessee Republicans, including Senator Bob Corker, Governor Bob Haslam, state legislative leaders and rightwing groups like Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform. Their key message: A union victory at VW would mean the loss of future SUV jobs to Mexico (which VW forcefully denied), setting Chattanooga on an inevitable downward slide into “another Detroit.”

    more here:

    http://progressive.org/fear-driven-campaign-crushes-tennessee-union-vote

    • Last month–There was another compelling article in Time Magazine as well that explains why unions are best for labor.

      The Decline of Unions Is Your Problem Too: The weakness of labor hurts all employees in every sector By Eric Liu, Jan. 29, 2013

      Excerpts:

      “First, the fact is that when unions are stronger the economy as a whole does better. Unions restore demand to an economy by raising wages for their members and putting more purchasing power to work, enabling more hiring. On the flip side, when labor is weak and capital unconstrained, corporations hoard, hiring slows, and inequality deepens. Thus we have today both record highs in corporate profits and record lows in wages……Second, unions lift wages for non-union members too by creating a higher prevailing wage. Even if you aren’t a member your pay is influenced by the strength or weakness of organized labor. The presence of unions sets off a wage race to the top. Their absence sets off a race to the bottom.”

      and:
      “….organized labor keeps an economy healthy. Some conservatives now argue for a higher federal minimum wage on the notion that when companies pay their employees enough to live, the employees will rely less on government assistance and participate more in economic life. Precisely the same case can be made for unions. Consider that workers at non-unionized Walmart constitute in many states the largest bloc of food stamp and Medicaid recipients…..If we want a better economy, then, we need a better story about how the economy works, in which a union worker is not a cost but a customer. The weakness of labor is everyone’s problem — and its revival everyone’s opportunity.”

      More of the article here:

      http://ideas.time.com/2013/01/29/viewpoint-why-the-decline-of-unions-is-your-problem-too/

      Unions are critical to the American worker, and contrary to other anti-labor views, the unions are not “way out of hand.”

    • Why don’t you go to the plant and ask the employee’s for yourself. Not everyone wants to join a Union…. I used to teach at the University level. I could have cared less if the union was involved….

        • Hah! Go figure. You were employed or are employed by a University.

          I will not go into details, I will not give a veritable name for reasons I will not mention.

          California, retired in 2011, Entertainment industry/Graphic Design software. BFA and MFA. I do have credentials…. No doubt about that. My students loved me because I was tough and demanded quality in their work:)

          • You didn’t answered my question.

            What university, when and prove it…

            otherwise, I very much doubt your claim…

          • LOL, believe what you will and I did answer your question. I will not give you private information. Why should I trust you people. I don’t.

            If you taught, I don’t see your credentials, all I see is your name. You never gave information as to where you taught, what you taught and what schools you graduated from. I initially really don’t care either? I can already tell just by your writing that you taught. Believe me I know the system and I know how it works. I was in school long enough to know that Liberal Colleges, and most of them are, brainwash the innocents. I was just strong enough to see through all the bull. During my undergraduate, I was required to take a History class to fulfill my GE. The teacher I had was a complete Liberal/Communist. He even had written his own textbook for the class. It was disgusting and we wonder why there are few Conservative Professors. Such a shame….. I was one, but I found that whole world to be rather revolting.

          • No thanks. ….and I don’t trust you….. The way I deliberate should indicate that I am educated. Knowledge is power. Ignorance is bliss…….

            ‘The Bill of Rights reflects the concern of James Madison and other framers for protecting specific aspects of privacy, such as the privacy
            of beliefs (1st Amendment), privacy of the home against demands that it be used to house soldiers (3rd Amendment), privacy of the person and
            possessions as against unreasonable searches (4th Amendment), and the 5th Amendment’s privilege against self-incrimination, which provides
            protection for the privacy of personal information.’

          • We agree to disagree….Bill of Rights means nothing here.

            I do not believe you are a teacher.

            So let it be that…

          • It was probably the Church of the Gooey Dead Bible University and Heavy-Duty Diesel School, if anything. Who cares?
            If he’s wrong and making up facts, all the credentials in the world mean nothing, even if they’re real. Ted Cruz and at least one other lunatic whose name I don’t recall graduated from Harvard University.

          • Nope, Liberal institutions because I had to stomach Cultural Pluralism and Crossing Borders.

            I bet you think as an artist I would be the likes of Diego Rivera….Not! I’m the opposite end of the spectrum….

            Good for Ted Cruz. A man after my own heart. The more educated the more knowledgeable you become. The more you can think for yourself that is unless you never leave school and you become a professor……

            Sand_Cat you are one of those Liberals that I would fear….. LOL

          • 0f course, this only means one thing. You no longer believe in the private rights of citizens, therefore; the Liberals are already walking a tight rope when it comes to Constitutional rights and the Amendments.

            It has nothing to do with anonymity. I do this to protect myself from you. I think death threats are way over the top, don’t you? That has happened to me on a Liberal site such as this one. I think it is an injustice to anyone who wants to share a different point of view. Liberals who visit Conservative sites do not get treated so disrespectfully. I have never heard one Conservative hurl a death threat at a Liberal who visited there. Even on this site all of the individuals on the right who post a comment have not been cruel. Most Conservatives who frequent their own sites are intelligent business owners, free thinkers, the educated, military or veterans and retirees. Many have the forethought to blast Liberals, just like I have, with facts. In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t call you stupid or liar or Troll. I don’t call any of you by bad names. I have also not been hateful. I present facts and stats other than yours. There will always be points of views different than yours or mine. Whether you chose to disagree or agree is up to you. If it disturbs you there is always the option to skip over the remark.

            In the technical arts we have to learn to take criticism because art is very subjective because you have to fulfill the clients needs. Students have to learn that otherwise they may as well shift their focus on Studio art which is not subjected to such harsh critiques and corrections.

            We on the right can laugh at ourselves and at your folly. Apparently you cannot do the same…… I think the Huffington Post is over reacting. If anything it is the other way around.

          • You know you don’t have to read my posts…..LOL Suppose you can’t help yourself… and thank you for posting my comments. Didn’t know they counted that much….

          • No they dont count for anything….they show that you are basically a fraud in my opinion. How many anonymous user names do you have?

            It goes to your mindset taht you can stand behind your opinions. It is safer to hit and run and be anonymous.

            We get it….seriously….all sensible people here have your number now….

            Because of how you have responded…

            And that shows your real identity….dont need your real name…

          • Would call it sensible and playing it safe because there are too many kooks out there nowadays. Call it what you want….

          • Not when they have a severe death threat hurled at them.

            You will never find out who I am. This world is no longer safe or trustworthy.

            If you attempt to threaten me I will have a family member who is retired Police detective and now Sheriffs detective investigate.

          • Do you suffer from paranoid schizophrenia by any chance.

            I have a relative with a brain chemistry imbalance….diagnosed as “thought disoredr schizophrenia.”….you are exhibiting some truly bizarre comments.

            If you do have a diagnosis…
            then…I really sincerely apologize for triggering your responses here..

            i will back off..I empathesize with you….really…I am NOT being flippant or derogatory…

            I mean no harm if you have problems…

          • OMG, absolutely not! I am far from delusional.

            How would you respond if someone threatened you for simply speaking your mind?

      • Worker’s have a right to chose whatever slavery they want to work under…

        I am only explaining the rationale for the fear of the worker…that is all…

        “The UAW’s majority support eroded under a sustained fear campaign that spooked enough workers into believing the union would cost them their jobs. ……..In an unusual twist, the fear factor was injected into the Chattanooga vote not by Volkswagen, which maintained a stance of neutrality under pressure from the German union IG Metall……. VW actually expressed willingness to set up a “works council” with the UAW in Tennessee, which would have given workers a stronger voice at the Chattanooga facility………But anti-union public officials, business groups and rightwingers stepped into the election, seeing a UAW victory quite correctly as a threat to the entire Southern economic model. ……..This Southern model, of a submissive and tightly controlled, non-union workforce that fights for low wages while local governments stay almost exclusively focused on doling out lavish corporate subsidies, has become a dominant U.S. corporate export, now popular in China, Mexico, and the rest of the global South………….The task of scaring Chattanooga workers was embraced by Tennessee Republicans, including Senator Bob Corker, Governor Bob Haslam, state legislative leaders and rightwing groups like Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform. Their key message: A union victory at VW would mean the loss of future SUV jobs to Mexico (which VW forcefully denied), setting Chattanooga on an inevitable downward slide into “another Detroit.”

        • Like your side never uses scare tactics…. Scaring, really…..

          Employee Craig Snyder voted against the UAW because, he said, Volkswagen is the best employer he’s ever worked for.

          His co-worker, 21-year-old Michael Taylor of suburban Hixson, also voted no.

          “I just didn’t feel like we needed an outside group coming in to represent us,” Taylor said.

          and VW didn’t care either way it was up to the employees. You see that is where the problem lies. The unions push jobs out of the country. You all prompt that you want no outsourcing, yet you are the biggest offenders. LOL

          People are getting wise to all this…. They don’t want another Detroit.

          One billboard, paid for by Grover Norquist, a Washington. D.C.-based anti-tax lobbyist, reads “Detroit: Brought to you by the UAW” next to an
          image of the long-abandoned Packard ruins. Another billboard shows a graffiti artist’s red “X” over the word “Auto” in the union’s title
          replaced with a crudely lettered “Obama.”

          After the last election, Obama and his media minions claim it’s an overwhelming mandate when he gets 53%. When Obama gets 53%, it’s a
          landslide, it’s an overwhelming mandate. When the workers vote by 53% tosend him and the unions packing, it’s a squeaker.

          Mike Jarvis. “I want my company to be profitable.” (Gasp!) In essence, this guy is saying, “If we unionize, that’s the end of my company.”
          That’s what he’s saying. “If we unionize, there goes profit. There goes this, there goes that, there goes my job. If we unionize, it’s gonna cost me $3 an hour.” Why would that be? Dues, maybe? (and this guy was threatened. Is that a way to get people to vote your way. Very unAmerican if you ask me)

          We want the jobs to come here and stay here… As long as the standards are high, we don’t need Union intrusion.

          Would you have rather seen the plant head to Puebla, Mexico? Balls in your court…..

      • To say you worked at a university shows you have no understanding of what a manufacturing environment is all about , you wouldn’t know about issues like chemical exposure , falling from high places , machine guarding overtime lists to name a few .
        I have worked in manufacturing since the early 80s from defense electronics to steel mills to ship yards to railcars believe me a lot of employers will sacrifice your safety and well being for a few bucks . It isn’t all about the money its about having some control over the risks that they force you to take with no recourse on your side .
        unions are needed more than ever especially in the backwards south.

        • No I don’t, but others in my family have…and they feel the same way I do. Nuclear Power Plant……Union dues take a big chunk of change out of your pocket and most of the workers get paid way too much money for doing very little….

          Come on, like no one in this modern Country doesn’t make sure that all precautions are not being covered within a Company. Had another family member working for a non Union vineyard. In case you don’t know this, farm accidents are among the highest. OSHA came in at least once a month to check on workers. Also, once a month there was a safety meeting to go over procedures. Give me a break. Workers were all payed a comparable wage.

          Aside from that I have also had my own business and worked in the private sector. Much more satisfying.

          Backward south. Isn’t that being a bit arrogant and prejudice…. If everything was Unionized then I think we would be edging closer to the Communist ideal. As I stated above it makes people lazier. They only feel they have to work as much as needed and no more. In case you haven’t notice. Economically we are in the tank. Why would you want to add an increased burden on this country by implementing Unions. Just where do you think the money is going to come from? I guess from thin air…..

          • As said you have no idea what is like to work in many businesses especially the South. May a union makes people in your circle of friends lazier but the union I belonged to made the people to work harder and do the job right the first time because if the company made more money because I did my job like it was suppose to be done then I took home more money and worked in a safer place than I did at non union jobs. Also we are still backwards in many ways in the South and one way is to believe everything politicians say especially Republican and Tea party politicians

      • I know people that work at VW and was told that most that voted against the union did so because they were afraid if they didn’t the plant would close and they would be without a job again. I live in Tennessee and have worked at both non union jobs and a union job believe me in this state working for a company that has a union is 100% better than working at one that doesn’t. Until I worked at a union job I never knew what it was like to be respected and treated with respect by an employer and not to have to be afraid of losing my job everyday because the foreman or owner decided he wanted to fire someone just because he could. Corker, Watson and Haslam and the rest that stuck their nose in what should have the business of VW and it workers is not only despicable but should be illegal.

  12. A Union will help the workers get better pay and good benefits. It’s up to the employees, if they want a Union to be there for them or not. Their votes count either way.

  13. Breaking news:

    Did Bob Corker Taint The UAW’s Volkswagen Union Election? And If So, Will He Get Away With It?

    From the article:

    “As Tennessee Volkswagen workers were voting last week on whether or not to have the United Auto Workers represent them, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) dropped what Reuters aptly called a “bombshell” on the proceedings.

    “I’ve had conversations today and based on those am assured that should the workers vote against the UAW, Volkswagen will announce in the coming weeks that it will manufacture its new mid-size SUV here in Chattanooga,” Corker said.

    Here’s one way a Volkswagen employee may have read that: If you vote for the UAW, the plant will lose business and you and your co-workers will suffer for it. Had a Volkswagen official said as much — the company flatly disputed Corker’s claim — the statement may have amounted to what’s known as an “unfair labor practice,” a form of interference or coercion that violates U.S. labor law.

    But as Corker surely knew, as a third party he wasn’t subject to the National Labor Relations Act the way Volkswagen and the UAW are — and nor were the other Tennessee politicians who vehemently opposed the UAW and even threatened to cut off future subsidies if workers voted in favor of the union.

    The UAW suffered a definitive defeat in the election, raising questions about whether and to what degree Corker’s comments may have affected the vote.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/18/bob-corker-volkswagen-uaw-vote_n_4810757.html

  14. Yes, I believe he did and he will get away with it. If the employees are not smart enough to organize a union, then let the chips fall where they may.

    • You state: “f the employees are not smart enough…”

      Being smart enough has nothing to do with what happened . (nicely meant please) These workers were terrorized into fear.

      How can they make any informed decision when they are threatened by jpb loss?

      This anti-labor campaign was one waged by the GOP to instill hysterical fear of job losses into auto workers if they wanted to unionize….This campaign capitalized on the southern white SLAVERY business model.

      There is an awesome article about this campaignof fear by columnist, Roger Bybee, that is a must read.

      Quote from article:

      “The UAW’s majority support eroded under a sustained fear campaign that spooked enough workers into believing the union would cost them their jobs. In an unusual twist, the fear factor was injected into the Chattanooga vote not by Volkswagen, which maintained a stance of neutrality under pressure from the German union IG Metall. VW actually expressed willingness to set up a “works council” with the UAW in Tennessee, which would have given workers a stronger voice at the Chattanooga facility………But anti-union public officials, business groups and rightwingers stepped into the election, seeing a UAW victory quite correctly as a threat to the entire Southern economic model. This Southern model, of a submissive and tightly controlled, non-union workforce that fights for low wages while local governments stay almost exclusively focused on doling out lavish corporate subsidies, has become a dominant U.S. corporate export, now popular in China, Mexico, and the rest of the global South………….The task of scaring Chattanooga workers was embraced by Tennessee Republicans, including Senator Bob Corker, Governor Bob Haslam, state legislative leaders and rightwing groups like Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform. Their key message: A union victory at VW would mean the loss of future SUV jobs to Mexico (which VW forcefully denied), setting Chattanooga on an inevitable downward slide into “another Detroit.”

      more here:

      http://progressive.org/fear-driven-campaign-crushes-tennessee-union-vote

  15. DB –
    Remember the judge in “My Cousin Vinnie”? “That, sir, was a fine and articulate rebuttal. Objection denied.” I have lived near Flat Earth Central for
    42 years. I have stopped making excuses for people who believe Social Security is Communism. You are talking about Middle Tennessee (Go Bolls) and this has nothing to do about being afraid of management, politics or crossing party lines. This is pure, down and dirty, generations old, distrust of the federal (Yankee) government, unions and anything that is not “old South”.
    Maybe a better movie scene would come from “Blazzing Saddles”,
    “We don’t need no sticking badges (union cards).”
    Anyway you look at it, it is the voters point of view, its what they believe. They voted from the heart, not from fear. Are they misguided? By my opinion, yes. But they are voting based on what they know and what they believe. These guys and gals are all card carrying members of the NRA. They are totally not afraid, just not educated as we would wish. Where do you start to remedy this? (The Shadow Knows, but he’s not telling.) Over.

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