"We want to work in partnership with companies to succeed."
February 17, 2014 9:17 AM Subscribe
On Friday, the results of an unionisation vote in Volkswagen's Chattanooga, Tennessee plant were announced
. The United Auto Workers had worked with German union, IG Metall, to encourage the creation of a works council, common in Germany
, in the plant.
The vote was marked by pressure by politicians and lobbyists. Despite Volkswagen encouraging
the formation of the works council, which can likely not be done without a union in place
, Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn), the former mayor of Chattanooga, claimed, on the first day of the vote, that, "should the workers vote against the UAW, Volkswagen will announce in the coming weeks that it will manufacture its new midsize SUV here in Chattanooga.
State senator Bo Watson said, "Volkswagen has promoted a campaign that has been unfair, unbalanced and, quite frankly, un-American in the traditions of American labor campaigns .... 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.
Late Friday, President Barack Obama also commented, criticising politicians' involvement in the vote
In the end
, the vote failed
, with 712 against, 626 in favour, and an 89% turnout rate, a blow to
the UAW's ongoing campaign to unionise foreign automakers and in the South.