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US Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) says he has inside information that should make auto workers vote against unionizing; Volkswagen says he's lying ...




German automaker Volkswagen AG , in a brief but bluntly worded statement Thursday, said a vote this week on union representation at its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant would have no bearing on whether it will build a new crossover vehicle there.

The statement counters U.S. Senator Bob Corker's announcement yesterday that he had been "assured" that if workers at the Chattanooga factory reject United Auto Worker representation, the company would reward the plant with a new product to build.

"There is no connection between our Chattanooga employees' decision about whether to be represented by a union and the decision about where to build a new product for the U.S. market," said Frank Fischer, CEO and chairman of Volkswagen Chattanooga in a statement early Thursday.

Corker, a Republican senator from Tennessee, made the assertion, which ran counter to previous public statements by VW, on the first of a three-day secret ballot election of blue-collar workers at the Chattanooga plant on whether to allow the UAW to represent them.

Corker has long been an opponent of the union, which he says hurts economic and job growth in Tennessee, a charge that UAW officials say is untrue.

"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," said Corker Wednesday, without saying with whom he held the conversations.


http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/02/13/autos-vw-tennessee-idINL2N0LI0RD20140213 (external - login to view)




U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee said on Wednesday he has been "assured" that if workers at the Volkswagen AG plant in his hometown of Chattanooga reject United Auto Worker representation, the company will reward the plant with a new product to build.

Corker's bombshell, which runs counter to public statements by Volkswagen, was dropped on the first of a three-day secret ballot election of blue-collar workers at the Chattanooga plant whether to allow the UAW to represent them.

Corker has long been an opponent of the union which he says hurts economic and job growth in Tennessee, a charge that UAW officials say is untrue.

"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," said Corker, without saying with whom he had the conversations.

In the past few weeks, Volkswagen officials have made several statements that the vote will have no bearing on whether the SUV will be made at the Chattanooga plant or at a plant in Puebla, Mexico.

National Labor Relations Board expert Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt, who is professor of labor at the University of Indiana-Bloomington, said Corker was trying to intimidate workers into voting against the union.

"I'm really kind of shocked at Corker's statement," said Dau-Schmidt. "It's so inconsistent with what VW has been saying and VW's labor relations policy in general."

The Indiana professor also said Corker's comments "would be grounds to set the election aside and have to run it all over again at a later date" because it could be ruled to be interfering to the point that it is against federal labor law.

A spokeswoman for Corker did not respond when asked whether the senator also meant that a vote for the UAW would mean that the plant would not get the new product, which could create an estimated 1,500 new jobs.


http://news.yahoo.com/tennessee-senator-says-vw-product-way-uaw-union-022622568--sector.html (external - login to view)